Skip to main content

Full text of "The red book of Menteith. [With plates, including portraits, facsimiles and genealogical tables.]"

See other formats

— . — 

Ge*. I Me*\ 




Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

National Library of Scotland 




o. 2f..*zC..+ 







> ■■♦* < 

The Two Volumes cure forwarded to you 



32 Castle Street^ Edinburgh. 


Contents of (Hoiume -first. 


TITLE-PAGE — Doorway of Priory of Inchmahome. 









433-45 6 



PEDIGREE of the Menteith Earls of Menteith, . 
,, Menteiths of Rusky, Kerse, etc., 

„ Graham Earls of Menteith, 

,, Drummonds of Blair-Drummond, 


Doune Castle, ....... 471-496 

The Castle of Talla, ...... 497-505 

Duke Murdach's Island and Tower, .... 505-506 


vol. I. 1 





The Drummonds of Blair-Drummond, etc. : — . betiveen 470 and 471 

Sir Patrick Drummond, brother of Henry, first of Gairdrum, 
Lord Conservator of the Scots' privileges at Campvere, 1650. 
He was knighted before 1640. He was the second son of 
Andrew, second son of George Drummond, first of Blair in 
the Stormont. This picture marked, 'Nolens Parui, 1634.' 

Anna Murray, Lady Halket, daughter of ■ Robert Murray, 
Provost of Eton and Preceptor to King Charles the First, 
and Jean Drummond, daughter of George, second of Blair 
in the Stormont. 

George Drummond, fifth of Blair in the Stormont, and first of 
Blair-Drummond in Menteith. From painting by Sir John 

James Drummond, second of Blair-Drummond. 

Jean Carre, his wife. 

George Drummond, third of Blair-Drummond. 

Lady Jane Grey, his first wife. From painting believed to be by 
J. Davison. 

Frances Moray of Abercairny, his second wife, afterwards Lady 
Erskine of Tony. 

Agatha Drummond, heiress of Blair-Drummond. 

Henry Home, Lord Kames. From a painting by P. W. P. Martin. 

George Home-Drummond, sixth of Blair-Drummond. From 
painting by H. P. Danloux, 1798. 

Janet Jardine, his wife, daughter of the Rev. John Jardine, D.D., 
Dean of the Chapel Royal. She died at Leamington, War- 
wickshire, 30th January 1840. From painting by H. P. 
Danloux, 1798. 


Illustrations in Volume First — Portraits — continued. 

Henry Home-Drummond, seventh of Blair-Drummond, in the 
robes of a B.C.L. of Oxford. From painting by Sir Henry 
Raeburn, 1816. 

Christian Moray of Abercairny, his wife, born 24th November 
1779, died 1864. From a painting by Sir Henry Raeburn, 

George Stirling Home-Drummond, eighth of Blair-Drummond. 

Mary Hay, his first wife. From a miniature by Signor Pietracola 
of Naples in 1843. 

Kalitza-Janet-Erskine-Christian Hay, his second wife. From 
painting, in 1872, by the Hon. Henry R. Graves, third son 
of Thomas North, second Baron Graves. 

Charles Stirling Home-Drummond-Moray, ninth of Blair- 
Drummond. From painting by J. M. Barclay, R.S.A., 1857. 

Lady Anne Georgina Douglas, his wife, and William Augustus 
Home-Drummond-Moray, their second son. From painting 
by R. Buckner, 1857. 

Henry Edward Stirling Home-Drummond-Moray, younger 
of Blair-Drummond. 

Lady Georgina Emily Lucy Seymour, his wife. 

Anne Home-Drummond, Dowager-Duchess of Athole. From an 
engraving of the original portrait by Sir Francis Grant. 

William Graham, seventh Earl of Menteith. From an 
engraving of the original portrait by Jameson, at 
Taymouth Castle, ..... 

Henry Erskine, Fiar of Cardross, last Prior of 
Inchmahome. From an engraving of the original 
portrait by Jameson, in the Earl of Buchan's 
Collection, ...... 548 and 549 

between 330 and 331 


Illustrations in Volume First — continued. 

Doorway of Priory of Inchmahome — Title-page. 
Blair-Drummond, ...... 

Effigy of Sir John Drummond, in the Priory of Inchmahome, 
Letter by Bishop William Fraser about the death of the 

Maid of Norway, ..... 

Monument to Walter Stewart, Earl of Menteith, and his 

Countess Mary, in the Priory of Inchmahome, 
Official Seal of Robert, first Duke of Albany, 
Doune Castle in Menteith, .... 
Castle of Ilantullo, in the Lake of Menteith, 
Priory of Inchmahome, in Lake of Menteith — -South Side, 
Priory of Inchmahome — North Side, 

between xxiv and xxv 
xl and xli 

7 2 and 7 3 

74 and 75 
238 and 239 
472 and 473 
498 and 499 
506 and 507 
508 and 509 

III.— ARMORIAL SEALS, etc Woodcuts of- 

Sir Edmund Hastings, Lord of Inchmahome, 

Alexander Comyn, Lord of Buchan, 

Sir John Comyn, son of the Earl of Buchan [circa 1280], 

Sir John Comyn, circa 1285, 

Walter Stewart, fifth Earl of Menteith, 1292, 

Alexander, sixth Earl of Menteith, . 

Robert, Duke of Albany, 

William Graham, seventh Earl of Menteith, 

Signature of same Earl, 

Sir John Menteith, .... 

xliv, xlvi 

S U M M A R Y 




I. The ancient Earldom of Menteith. 

The District of Menteith : extent of the ancient and later Earldoms, . 
Sketch of the history of the successive Earls of Menteith, 

The Muniments of the later Earldom of Menteith, .... 
Biographical Sketch of the late Mr. George Home-Drummond of Blair-Drummond, 
Biographical Sketch of his father, the late Mr. Henry Home-Drummond, 
Original Charters of the Earldom and of the Priory of Tnchmahome, . 
Correspondence by Sir Thomas Hope, naming his successor as Lord Advocate, 
John Grahame of Claverhouse : his letters and scholarship, 










II. Early connection of the Drummonds with Menteith, and the Armorial 
Bearings of the Earls of Menteith and the Drummonds. 

Charters by the Earls of Menteith to the Drummonds, 

The Drummonds and the Priory of Inchmahome : their first burial-place, 

The seal of Sir Edmund Hastings in 1301, and its relation to the Drummond arms, 

Origin of the three bars wavy as the armorial bearings of the Earls of Menteith, 

The assumption of the same arms by the Drummonds, 

III. The origin of the Drummonds and their Royal Alliances. 

Lord Strathallan's history of the Drummonds, .... 

Alleged descent of the family from the Hungarian Prince Maurice, 

Other histories of the family, by Mr. Malcolm and Mr. Henry Drummond, 

More reliable explanation of the origin of the family of Drummond, . 

Origin of the name : examination of the evidence of ancient charters, . 

Connection between the family of Drummond and the lands of that name in the Lennox, 

King James the Fourth and Margaret Drummond : tragic death of her and two sisters, 

Erection of the barony of Drummond by King James the Fifth in 1542, 

VOL. I. 2 









' lxi 


Alienation of barony from the Drummonds to Menteith and Montrose, 
Services of John, first Lord Drummond : erection of Drummond Castle, 1491, 
Royal alliances and distinguished members of the House of Drummond, 
Royal visitors to Menteith : King Robert Bruce ; Queen Mary ; Queen Victoria, 
Rob Roy Macgregor : his feud with and declaration against the Duke of Montrose, 
Ancient symbol of holding of the barony of Leny, a small silver sword, 
Sir John Menteith : Doune Castle : Lordship of Cardross and the Erskines, . 
Inchmahome, Dryburgh, and Cambuskenneth : " Leabhar dearg " of Menteith, 
The Exchequer Rolls : Robert Stewart created Earl of Fife and Menteith, 
Further evidence as to the Peerages of Fife and Menteith, and female descent, 
Sir John Menteith, Lady Elene of Mar, and Joanna, Countess of Strathern, . 
Sir John Moray of Bothwell, first husband of Margaret, Countess of Menteith, 
Princess Jean Stewart and her two husbands, Sir John Keith and Sir John Lyon, 
Historical documents printed in preface to recent volume of the Exchequer Rolls, 


















Menteith an earldom in the twelfth century, .... 
References to probable Earls of Menteith before King David the First, 

I. — GILCHRIST, first Earl of Menteith. 

Is a witness to various charters of King Malcolm the Fourth and William the Lion, 
Had jurisdiction over Kintyre and Cowal in Argyll, .... 

II.— MURETHACH or MURDACH, second Earl of Menteith. 

Witness to a convention in 1201 between the Prior of St. Andrews and the Culdees, . 

III. — MAURICE Senior and MAURICE Junior, Earls of Menteith. 

Dispute as to succession to the earldom : amicable arrangement between them, . 7 

Maurice junior receives the earldom, 1213 : lands given to Maurice senior, . . 8 

Is one of the seven Earls of Scotland at the enthronement of King Alexander II., 1214, 9 

His death, circa 1230 : his two daughters, Isabella and Mary, . . . .10 


IV.— ISABELLA, Countess of Menteith, and WALTER COMYN, Earl 
of Menteith, her first Husband. 1231-1258. 

The family of the Comyns : their rise and influence in Scotland, 
Birth and first notices of Walter Comyn : his frequent attendance at Court, 
Was Lord Clerk Register, 1225 : acquisition of the lordship of Badenoeh, 1228, 
His marriage to Lady Isabella Menteith, and becoming Earl of Menteith, 1231, 
Head of the "Patriotic" party in Scotland : proceedings against the Bissets, 1241, 
Castles of Hermitage and Dalswinton built by Walter Comyn, . 
His conduct at the coronation of King Alexander the Third in 1249, . 
Attendance at the King's marriage at York in 1251 : becomes head of the Regency, 
AlanDurward secures the person of the young King : triumph of the English party, 1255, 
Excommunication of the English Regents : the Patriotic party regain power, 1257, 
Treaty with Llewellyn, Prince of Wales : Cessation of civil discords in Scotland, 
The Earl's death, November 1258, ...... 

Foundation by this Earl of the Priory of Inchmahome, 123S : his children, 




ISABELLA, Countess of Menteith, and SIR JOHN RUSSELL, Knight, 
her second Husband. 1258-circa 1273. 

Dissatisfaction of Scottish nobles with her second marriage : her imprisonment, . 36 

Her efforts to regain the earldom : Papal bull narrating proceedings, 1264, . . 38 

Death of the Countess, circa 1273 : Sir John R,ussell : inquiry as to his family, . 44 

Kirkintilloch, her first Husband. 1273-1291. 

Lady Isabella, the daughter of Walter Comyn, marries her cousin, . . .46 

Claims the earldom of Menteith, 1273: the earldom divided, 1285, . . .47 

Death of her first husband, 1291 : Lady Isabella not the daughter of Sir John Russell, 49 

Inchmahome, her second Husband. 1292-1314. 

Lady Isabella bestowed in marriage on Sir Edmund Hastings, circa 1293, . . 52 

Descent of the Hastings family, and their possessions in Scotland, . . .54 

Sir Edmund's armorial seal in 1301 that of the earldom of Menteith, . . .57 

Sir Edmund Hastings keeper of Berwick-on-Tweed, 

Barbarous imprisonment of Isabella, Countess of Buchan, in Berwick Castle, 



VI.— MARY, Countess of Menteith, and WALTER STEWART, fifth 
Earl of Menteith, her Husband. 1258-1295. 

Parentage of Countess Mary and of Walter Stewart : they obtain the earldom, 1258, 
He sides with the English party : Edinburgh Castle taken by stratagem, 1255, 
Grants to Paisley Abbey, the previous burial-place of the Stewarts, 
The battle of Largs and subjugation of the Western Isles, 1263, 
Sheriff of County of Ayr : preparations for Norwegian invasion, 
Sheriff of Dumbarton, 1271: inquest on female succession, 

Negotiates for the marriage of the Princess Margaret to Eric, King of Norway, 1281, 
Death of King Alexander the Third, 1284 : accession of the " Maid of Norway," 
The Earl of Menteith a party to the treaty with England for her marriage, 1289, 
Death of the Maid of Norway, 1 290, and competition for the Crown, . 
Deaths of the Countess Mary (before 1286) and of Walter Stewart, circa 1295, 
Their monument in the Priory of Inchmahome : their children, 


VII.— ALEXANDER, sixth Earl of Menteith, and LADY MATILDA 
his Wife. Circa 1 29 5 -circa 1304. 

The sons of Walter Stewart, Earl of Menteith, adopt name of Menteith, 
Alexander joins Bruce's party : swears fealty to King Edward the First, 1291, 
Present at the siege of Berwick and battle of Dunbar : is taken prisoner, 
Short imprisonment in the Tower of London : not put to death but liberated, 
Swears fealty to Edward at Berwick-on-Tweed, 1296 : terms of oath, . 
Appointed guardian of the estates of Alexander of Argyll and his son John, 1296, 
Summoned to assist Brian Fitz-Alan, Governor of Scotland, against Wallace, 1297, 
His death, circa 1304 : burial-place in Abbey of Cambuskenneth : his children, 


VIII. — ALAN, seventh Earl of Menteith. Circa 1304-1306. 

Birth : becomes surety for his father : goes to Flanders, 1296, . . . .90 

Succeeds to the earldom, circa 1304 : joins Bruce : taken prisoner at Methven, 1306, . 91 
Captivity and death in England, circa 1306 : his daughter Mary, . . .94 


IX. — MURDACH, eighth Earl of Menteith, and ALTCE his 
Countess. 1318-1332. 

Obtains the earldom of Menteith by arrangement during his niece's minority, 
The earldom in ward : Sir John Menteith appointed guardian, . 
Grants to Earl Murdach from King Robert the Bruce : the Soulis conspiracy, 
Death of Bruce and regency of Randolph, Earl of Moray : Edward BalioL 
Death of Earl Murdach at battle of Dupplin, 1332 : his Countess Alice, 



X. — LADY MARY MENTEITH, Countess of Menteith, and her Husband, 
SIR JOHN GRAHAM, ninth Earl of Menteith. 1332-1360. 

Her birth, before 1306 : claims the earldom, circa 1332, 

Marries Sir John Graham, 1334 : Papal dispensation granted to them, . 

The Earl of Menteith present at the battle of Durham, 1346 : his gallant conduct, 

Is taken prisoner, sentenced, and put to death by King Edward the Third, 1346, 

Feuds between the Menteiths and Drummonds : final arrangement of these, 1360, 

The Countess grants lands in Argyll to the Campbells : her death, circa 1362, . 


XI.— LADY MARGARET GRAHAM, Countess of Menteith, and her 
four Husbands. 1334-circa 1380. 

Her birth, circa 1334 : her four marriages and five Papal dispensations, 
Her first husband, Sir John Moray of Both well, Panitarius of Scotland, 1348, 
Her second husband, Thomas, Earl of Mar, 1352 : divorced from him, . 
Her third husband, John Drummond of Concraig, circa 1359, 
Her fourth husband, Sir Robert Stewart, afterwards Earl of Menteith, 1361, 
Becomes Countess of Fife and Menteith: her death, circa 1380, 


XII.— SIR ROBERT STEWART, tenth Earl of Menteith, afterwards Earl 
of Fife, Duke of Albany, Governor of Scotland, etc. 1339-1420. 

His parentage, birth, and marriage to the Countess of Menteith, 1339-1361, . 131-133 

Becomes Lord of Menteith : charged to keep order in the earldom and his other lands, 1361, 134 
Lawsuit between Douglas and Menteith about terce due to the Countess of Menteith, . 135 
Created Earl of Menteith and also Earl of Fife, 1371 : agreement with Isabella of Fife, 136 
Curious matrimonial contract between Philippa of Moubray and Bertold of Loen, . 138 

Marriage arranged between the families of Menteith and Moubray, 1372, . . 140 

Is made Keeper of Stirling Castle : provided for in succession to the Crown, 1373, 

Obtains supplies from England : grants of land : accompanies the King in circuits, 

Is made Lord Chamberlain of Scotland, 13S2 : Sir John Lyon : death of first wife, 

Marries Lady Muriella Keith : the privilege of Clan Macduff : dispute as to lands of Log; 

Visit of French army to Scotland, and joint invasion of England, 1385, 

Battle of Otterburn and death of Douglas, 1388 : proceedings as to Tantallon Castle, 

The Eai-1 appointed Governor of Scotland, 1388 : provision for salary of the office, 

Again invades England, 1389 : truce with England and France, 

Financial transactions with King Robert the Third : Parliament at Scone, 1391, 

Sir Thomas Erskine's complaint : alliance between Lennox and Menteith, 1392, 

Pensions received by the Earl : expenses in the Highlands and other parts, 1397, 

Creation of Dukes of Rothesay and Albany, 28th April 1398, . 

Duke of Rothesay appointed lieutenant of the kingdom, 1399 : charges against Albany. 

Beneficial legislation, 1401 : letter by Rothesay to Henry the Fourth, 

Rothesay's excesses : his imprisonment and death, 1402 : his character, 

Albany and Douglas charged with his murder : their innocence and public acquittal, 

Albany again chosen Governor, 1402 : preparations for war with England, 

Battle of Homildon Hill, 1402 : siege of Cocklaws and relief by Albany, 1403, 

See of St. Andrews : the Duke's onerous duties : difficulties with the Treasury, 

Sir Murdach Stewart's captivity : correspondence thereanent, . 

Capture of Prince James and death of King Robert the Third, 1406, 

The Earl of Northumberland and Lord Bardolph in Scotland : their deaths in England 

Death of David Fleming : wrongful accusation of Albany, 

Albany is chosen Regent : Embassies to England for release of King James, 1407-1414, 

Henry the Fifth's refusals to liberate King James or Sir Murdach Stewart, 

Albany becomes Earl of Buchan : English jealousy of his title of Governor, 

Negotiations with England, and correspondence between Henry and Albany, 1407, 

Jedburgh Castle demolished : taxation therefor opposed by Albany, 1409, 

Alliances of Albany and Douglas, 1409-10 : the latter freed from captivity in England. 

Capture of Fast Castle by Patrick Dunbar : renewed overtures for peace, 

St. Andrews University founded : the Lord of the Isles claims the earldom of Ross, 

Albany at Doune Castle : marriage of John, Earl of Buchan, son of Albany, 

Sir Murdach Stewart exchanged for Henry Percy : proposals to ransom King James. 

Albany's popularity as Regent : a benefactor of the Church and protector of its privileges 

His arbitration as to Irvine Moor : the "foul raid :" the Council of Constance, 

King Richard the Second of England : the Scottish army in France, 

Death of Albany, 3d September 1420 : opinions of historians as to his character, 

His second Duchess : his children, ...... 


, 147 


XIII.— SIR MURDACH STEWART, second Duke of Albany, Earl of 
Fife, and eleventh Earl of Menteith, 1362-1425. LADY ISA- 
BELLA, Countess of Lennox, his Duchess, 1392-1460. 

His birth, circa 1362 : is Justiciar north of the Forth, 1389 : his marriage, 1392, 
Terms of marriage-contract : Prince Robert Stewart, second son of the King, . 
Sir Murdach is taken prisoner at Homildon, 1402 : negotiations for his release, 
Instructions and arrangements for his liberation, 1415 : ransom of £10,000, 
Escape and recapture : exchanged for Sir Henry Percy, 

Acts as his father's lieutenant : succeeds to his titles : is elected Governor, 1420, 
His other offices and pensions : agreement with Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar, 
Archibald, Earl of Douglas, endeavours to obtain King James's release, 1421, . 
Charters granted by Duke Murdach : his regard to the King's interests, 
Arrangements for the King's liberation, 1424 : arrest of Sir Walter Stewart, . 
Coronation of King James the First : heavy taxation : inquiry as to crown lands, 
Harsh measures towards the nobility : arrest of Duke Murdach, with other noblemen, 
Execution of the Duke and his sons, 1425 : probable reasons for their fate, 
Popular feeling : Isabella, Duchess of Albany : children of Duke Murdach, 
Subsequent history of the dignity of Duke of Albany, .... 




Discovery of letters of King James the First, circa 1416, relative to his release, . 283 

Correspondence with Robert, Duke of Albany, and other noblemen, . . . 2S4 

Letter to the burgh of Perth : the King's impression as to his release, . . . 287 


I. — MALISE GRAHAM, first Earl of Menteith. 


MARION, his Countess. 

The family of Graham : distinguished descent of Malise, Earl of Strathern, 
Seizure of earldoms by King James First : Earl Malise deprived of Strathern, . 
Created Earl of Menteith, 1427 : becomes a hostage in England : released, 1453, 
Port of Menteith made a burgh of barony, 1466 : the battle of Sauchie, 1488, . 
Death of Earl Malise, circa 1490 : his Countess Marion, 
The children of Earl Malise : the Grahams of Boquhaple, 



II. — ALEXANDER GRAHAM, second Earl of Menteith, and 
MARGARET BUCHANAN, his Countess. 1490-1537. 


Question as to his parentage : succeeds Lis grandfather in the earldom, circa 1490, . 302 

Litigatiou as to the lands of Kilbride : their recovery by Earl Alexander, . . 304 

Agreement with Earl of Montrose about Kilpont : charters to his brother Henry, . 306 

His death, circa 1537 : his children : the Grahams of Gartur, .... 308 

III.— WILLIAM GRAHAM, third Earl of Menteith, and MARGARET 
MOUBRAY, his Countess. 1537-1544. 

His marriage, 1521 : redemption of lands and additions to earldom, . . . 309 

Present in Parliament : killed by the tutor of Appin at Tobanareal, 1543, . . 310 

His children : the Grahams of Gartmore : alliance with Argyll family, . .311 

IV. — JOHN GRAHAM, fourth Earl of Menteith, and MARION 
SETON, his Countess. 1544-1564. 

Retoured heir to his father in 1546 : accompanies Queen Mary to France, 1550, . 317 

Joins the Lords of the Congregation, 1559 : proposal for marriage of Queen Elizabeth, 319 
His death, circa 1564 : his children : the Grahams of Rednoch, . . . 320 

V.— WILLIAM GRAHAM, fifth Earl of Menteith, and MARGARET 
DOUGLAS (of Drumlanrig), his Countess. 1564-1579. 

Commissioner to receive demission of Queen Mary and inaugurate King James Sixth, . 323 

Terms of his marriage-contract, 1571 : is infeft in earldom while still under age, . 324 

Receives various commissions against the Highlanders, 1574 : a privy Councillor, . 326 

Feud between Menteith and Lecky : his death, 1579 : his children, . . . 326 

VI.— JOHN GRAHAM, sixth Earl of Menteith, and MARY 
CAMPBELL (of Glenorchy), his Countess. 1579-1598. 

His long minority : his marriage, 1587 : lawsuit with Dowager Countess, 1587-1591, . 328 
His death, 1598: his children, ........ 330 

VII. — WILLIAM GRAHAM, seventh Earl of Menteith, Earl of 

Strathern, and first Earl of Airth. LADY AGNES GRAY, his 
Countess. 1598-1661. 


His birth : long minority : dispensation for his infeftment, . . . .331 

His marriage, 1612 : examination of his Charter-chest : acquisition of lands, . . 332 

Commissions of justiciary, 1621 : King James Sixth and the "earth dogges," . . 334 

His interest in Church matters : made a Privy Councillor, 1626, . . . 336 

Appointed President of Privy Council, and Justice-General of Scotland, 1628, . . 338 

A member of Privy Council of England : in high confidence at Court, 1630, . . 340 

Relations with Sir Thomas Hope : Claims the earldom of Strathern, 1029, . . 341 

Renounces the annexed Strathern lands in favour of King Charles the First, . . 343 

Receives ratification of title of Earl of Strathern with grants of money, 1631, . . 345 

Acquisition of Drummond and Airth : jealousies against the Earl, . . . 348 

Statements made against him to the King, 1632 : Charles demands proofs, . . 350 

Opinions of the Advocates sent to his Majesty : Sir John Scot at Court, . . 352 

The Earl charged with boasting "he had the reddest blood in Scotland," . . 355 

Couduct of Sir Thomas Hope, King's Advocate : his advice to the Earl, . . 356 

Counsel advise reduction and cancellation of the Strathern titles : their reasons, . 358 

The Earl is created Earl of Airth : the patent for the new title, . . .361 

Decree given by Lords of Session for Reduction of Strathern Pietour, . . . 363 

Unjust character of the whole proceedings: letter by John, Earl of Traquair, . . 365 

The Earl's enemies not satisfied : he is charged with treason, 1633, . . . 366 

Defends himself to his Majesty : Commission appointed for his trial, . . . 368 

Depositions of Sir James Skene and other informers, reported to King, . . 372 

The Earl denies the accusations against him : submits to the King, 1633, . . 374 

He demits his offices, and is confined within the bounds of his own earldom, . . 377 

Beset by creditors, becomes insolvent : "not a penny" from the Exchequer, . . 379 

Takes active part against the Macgregors : captures brother of Gilderoy, 1636, . 382 

Is again received into the royal favour : opposes the Covenant, . . . 383 

Assassination of his son Lord Kilpont : the King's debt to the Earl, . . . 385 

Passing of his estate to creditors : dispersion of lands of Kilbride, Airth, etc., . . 387 

Losses during civil war : burning of Aberfoyle by General Monck, 1654, . . 3S8 

His death, 1661 : his Countess and her management : his children, . . . 390 

JOHN GRAHAM, Lord Kilpont, eldest son of William, seventh Earl 
of Menteith. LADY MARY KEITH, Lady Kilpont. 1613-1644. 

His birth, circa 1613 : his marriage, 1632 : assists his father as Justiciar of Menteith, . 395 
In command of the troops in Glenalmond to repel Montrose and the Irish, . . 396 

VOL. I. 3 



Joins the Marquis of Montrose, 1644, and is killed in his camp at Kirk of Collace, . 397 

Conflicting accounts of his assassination : Wishart : the Ardvoirlich tradition, . 398 

His murderer, James Stewart of Ardvoirlich, pardoned by Committee of Estates, 1645, 401 

Feud between the Grahams and the Stewarts, on account of death of Lord Kilpont, . 403 

Early history of the assassin : petition against him by Lord Kilpont's son, 1660, . 404 

Effect of Lord Kilpont's death on his wife : their children, .... 406 

VIII.— WILLIAM GRAHAM, eighth and last Earl or Menteith, and 
second and last Earl of Airth. ANNE HEWES and KATHERINE 
BRUCE of Blairhall, his first and second Countesses. 1661-1694. 

His birth, circa 1634 : obligation by his grandfather, ..... 407 
Assumes title of Lord Kilpont: succeeds as Earl of Airth and Menteith, 1661, . 408 

State of his affairs : claims money from King Charles Second, but without success, . 409 
Petitions for compensations of losses during the Commonwealth, . . .411 

Marriage to his first Countess : is divorced from her, . . . .413 

His second Countess : curious domestic contract : she leaves Talla and the frogs, . 414 

Contrivance to get her to return : his appearances in public, . . . .416 

Summoned to attend on militia : energy against conventicles, .... 418 
Is thanked by the King and Privy Council for his services, .... 420 
Recommends Claverhonse as a suitor for the hand of his cousin Helen Graham, . 422 

Entail of the earldom, 1680 : protests against separation of Menteith dignities and estates, 423 
Proposals to his uncle Sir James Graham for clearing off debts, and new entail, 16S3, . 425 
Death of his second Countess : his own death, 1694 : last disposition of his affairs, . 428 
Dispersion of Menteith Muniments : later history of title of Airth, . . . 430 

SIR JOHN MENTEITH and his relations with Sir William Wallace. 

Circa 1260-circa 1325. 

Parentage of Sir John Menteith : traditions regarding his betrayal of Wallace, 

Statements of historians regarding his relations to Sir William Wallace, 

First authentic historical notices of Sir John Menteith : at battle of Dunbar, 1296, 

Liberation from imprisonment in England, 1297 : goes to Flanders, 

His return : takes part with the patriots in Scotland : Lord of Knapdale, 1301, 

A negotiator for peace : defeat of Sir John Corny n's party, 1303, 

Submission by Sir John Comyn to King Edward First : position of Wallace, . 

Sir John Menteith appointed Governor of Dumbarton : Edward's temper "fulle grim,' 

Capitulation of Stirling Castle : submission of Scottish nobles, 

Stipulations as to Sir William Wallace : efforts for his capture 

Sir John Menteith's share in the matter : his reward of £100, . 




Is one of the representatives of Scotland in the Union Parliament, 1305, 
Receives from King Edward the earldom of Lennox : death of King Edward First, 
Coronation of King Robert Bruce : Sir John Menteith adheres to him, 
Signs letter to the Pope, 1320 : Treats for peace with England, 1323, 
His decease : his descendants : the Menteiths of Kerse, Rusky, etc., 
His daughter Joanna, Countess of Strathern, and her four husbands, 

Pedigree of the Menteith Earls of Menteith, . . 

Pedigree of the Menteiths of Rusky, Kerse, etc., . 
Pedigree of the Graham Earls of Menteith, 

Pedigree of the Drhmmonds of Blair-Drummond, . 



This Castle the principal messuage of the ancient earldom of Menteith, 

Sir Walter Scott's regard for its "banner'd towers :" general description of the Castle 

Traditions as to its origin : Robert, Duke of Albany, the true builder, 

Favourite residence of the Dukes of Albany : a royal residence, 

The dowry of successive Scottish Queens : occasional residence of Queen Margaret, 

The keepers of the Castle : Sir William Edmonstone of Duntreath and his sons, 

Sir James Stewart of Beath supersedes William Edmonstone of Duntreath, 

Feud with the latter : Sir James Stewart killed by Edmonstones, 1544, 

Sir James succeeded by his son : the latter created Lord Donne : sketch of his life, 

The Castle a State prison : names of various distinguished captives, 

Doune occupied by the Jacobites, 1745 : building of the Bridge of Teith, 

John Home, author of " Douglas," warded in Doune : his escape by blanket ropes, 1745, 

Views of the Castle, ......... 


Various designations of this Castle : no records of its founder, . 

The chief residence of the Graham Earls, and principal messuage of their earldom, 

Description of the buildings and furnishings of the Castle : the Earl's wardrobe, 

Other islands and buildings in the Lake of Menteith : the antlered chestnut, . 

Queen Mary's garden : her visit to Menteith : sheltered in Inchmahome, 1547, 

Scenery of Lake of Menteith : "gay Coldon's feathered steep :" Bandarroch, etc., 

Duke Murdaeh's Island and Tower in Loch-Ard : Isle of St. Malloch, . 

Other residences of the Earls of Menteith : Kilbride Castle, Rusky Tower, etc., 











The Priory founded by Walter Comyn in 1238 : present state of the ruins, . . 507 

Burial-place of the Earls of Menteith : monuments in the choir : Queen Mary's bedroom, 508 


The island served by a parson, 1210 : Adam and Maurice, priors, 1296 and 1305, . 511 

First visit of King Bobert the Bruce : submission of Malise, Earl of Strathern, . 513 

Second aud third visits to Inchmahome : charter to monks of Arbroath, . . 515 

Ghristin, third known prior, 1330-135S : grants to him by King David the Second, . 517 

Prior David, circa 1490 : the lands and kirk of Leny : Prior Andrew, 1526-1530, . 520 


Eobekt Erskine, 1531-1547. 

Assists in education of George Buchanan : a Menteith and Argyll marriage, . . 522 

Bobert Erskine a favourite of Queen Mary's : his death at the battle of Pinkie, . 524 

John Erskine, Commendator, 1548-1555. 

The " King of Kippen" and the King of Scotland : the "King of the moors," . 525 

John Erskine created Earl of Mar : chosen Regent and guardian of King James Sixth, 527 

David Erskine, Commendator, 1555-1608. 

His parentage : Commendator of Dryburgh and Archdean of Brechin, . . . 528 

Appoints John, Lord Erskine, bailie of the Priory : grants several charters, . . 529 

Sits in Parliament, 1560 : commissioner to the Borders : a Privy Councillor, . . 532 

Question as to the " thirds" of Priory lands, ...... 534 

Attendance onKing James the Sixth: Disputes in the Erskine family: their reconciliation, 536 

Prior David a Councillor under Begent Morton, 157S : joins the Baid of Buthven, 1579, 541 

He is forfeited and the Priory given to Henry Stewart of Doune, . . . 542 
Home of Argaty executed for corresponding with Prior David while in exile, . .543 

Forfeiture of Dryburgh Abbey : act of indemnity : David Erskine restored, . . 544 

His demission and death : provision for his widow, Margaret Haldane, . . 546 

Henry Erskine, Commendator, 1608-1628. 

Provided to the Priory : his parents, John, Earl of Mar, and Lady Mary Stewart, . 547 

Became fiar of Cardross : the Priory of Inchmahome included in the lordship of Cardross, 548 

Terms of the Act of Parliament erecting the lordship, 1606, .... 550 

The Abbacies of Dryburgh and Cambuskenneth also part of the lordship of Cardross, . 551 

Death of Henry Erskine : peerage of Cardross now held by the Earl of Buchan, . 552 

%ty men Book of 2®tnttity. 



THE " varied realms of fair Menteith " are situated chiefly in the 
south-west of the county of Perth, and partly in the county of 
Stirling. The parishes of Port of Menteith, Aberfoyle, Callander and Leny, 
Kincardine, Kilmadock, Lecropt, Dunblane, Logie, and parts of Kippen, 
are included in the district known as Menteith. Sir Walter Scott, who 
frequently visited it, has immortalised Loch Katrine, the Trossaehs, and 
the lakes and mountains of Menteith in " The Lady of the Lake," while 
Aberfoyle, Loch Ard, and other portions forming the country of the 
Macgregor, are celebrated in the fascinating pages of " Eob Eoy." The 
great novelist's magic hand, in " A Legend of Montrose," has described 
other parts of the district, and related the tragic fate of the young heir 
of the earldom, John Graham, Lord Kilpont, killed by a comrade in the 
camp of his kinsman Montrose. 

This attractive country, in the twelfth century, gave name to an earldom 
which probably was erected as early as any of the other ancient earldoms 
into which Scotland was then divided. The first Earls of Menteith appear to 
have taken their surname, as well as their title of Earl, from the district, 

vol. i. a 


the vale of the river Teith. 1 Gilchrist is the first known Earl of Menteith. 
As the owner of this extensive and valuable earldom, he must have been a 
nobleman of great power and influence ; and, indeed, those ancient Earls of 
Scotland, wielding almost sovereign power over extensive territories, have 
been called monarchs in miniature. The charter of creation of his earldom 
is not known to exist, and in the absence of any other authentic evidence, 
it can only be conjectured that the ancient earldom included the larger 
portion of the district now known as Menteith. The later earldom, which 
was created by King James the First in the fifteenth century in favour 
of Malise Graham, formerly Earl of Strathern, did not include all the lands 
of the original earldom which had been forfeited by Murdach Duke of 
Albany as Earl of Menteith ; on the contrary, the charter of creation of 
the new territorial earldom of Menteith reserved to the king the other 
portions of it in these terms — " Ceteras autem terras, que de dicto comitatu 
ante banc nostram concessionem ab antiquo fuerant et que in presenti 
carta nostra non continentur, per expressum nobis et successoribus nostris 
[imperpe]tuum tenore presencium reseruamus." 2 Among the places thus 
reserved was the Castle of Doune, which was the principal messuage of 
the ancient earldom at the time of the forfeiture. 

The direct male line of the original Earls of Menteith failed at an early 
date. Only three of them are known who inherited the earldom, Gilchrist, 
Murdach, and Maurice. The two daughters of Maurice the third Earl, his 

1 The Highlanders called the Teith in being protected by high mountains and woods 

Gaelic Taiclie, and in the patent of Strathern along its banks. 

by King Charles the First to William, 2 Original Charter at Buchanan, printed in 

seventh Earl of Menteith, dated 31st July Minutes of Evidence in Airth Peerage, p. 7 ; 

1631, the grantee is described as "Comes also in History of the Earldoms of Strathern, 

Taiehife lie Menteith." The Teith is known Menteith, and Airth, by Sir Harris Nicolas, 

in the district as the " warm river," from Appendix, p. xvi. 


only children, were his co-heiresses, and by their marriages the territorial 
earldom was carried successively into the great families of Comyn and 
Stewart, while the respective husbands of these ladies obtained the personal 
dignity of Earls of Menteith, either in right of their wives or by special 

The Earls of Menteith, like their neighbours the Earls of Lennox and 
Strathern, were an unfortunate race. Almost from the first their earldom was 
the cause of unnatural strife and keen legal contentions. Brother disputed 
with brother, and sister with sister, in successive generations, regarding their 
rights to it. Although the " Isle of Rest " was situated in the domains of 
the ancient Earls of Menteith, it did not prove symbolical of quiet enjoy- 
ment of their possessions. The direct male line of the Menteiths, Earls of 
Menteith, ended, as we have said, in the third known generation. In the 
next generation the two daughters, and also a grand-daughter of Earl 
Maurice, had long-continued contentions about their rights to the earldom. 
One of these daughters, Lady Isabella, married Walter Comyn of Badenoch ; 
and on account of dark suspicions as to the manner of his death, and her 
second marriage to Sir John Bussell, an English knight, who was called 
"ignoble," she was dispossessed of the earldom. Her brother-in-law, Walter 
Stewart, the husband of her younger sister, Lady Mary, then obtained it, 
and a long litigation with him ensued, which ultimately resulted in a parti- 
tion of the territory. The only child of Countess Isabella was a daughter, 
whose rightful claim to the earldom was disputed. Walter Stewart was the 
first Earl of Menteith of his name. He was the father of Alexander, Earl 
of Menteith, who was dispossessed of the earldom by the English ; and it 
was for a time divided between Sir John Hastings, the competitor for the 
Crown of Scotland, and his brother, Sir Edmund Hastings, who married Lady 
Isabella Comyn. The successful termination of the War of Independence 


at the battle of Bannockburn restored the earldom to the Stewarts, and it 
was reunited under the younger son of Alexander, Murdach, the eighth Earl, 
who enjoyed the title after the death of his brother Alan, the seventh Earl. 
The male line of the Stewart Earls failed in the fourth generation, when 
•Lady Mary, the daughter and heiress of Alan, carried the earldom by 
marriage to Sir John Graham, a gallant warrior, who did not long enjoy 
it, being cruelly put to death by the English after the battle of Durham. 
Their daughter and heiress, Lady Margaret Graham, married in succession 
four husbands, Sir John Moray Lord of Bothwell, Thomas thirteenth Earl of 
Mar, Sir John Drummond of Concraig, and Sir Bobert Stewart. Her fourth 
husband, Sir Bobert Stewart, after the death of the Countess Mary, was 
created Earl of Menteith, afterwards Earl of Fife and Duke of Albany, 
and became Begent of Scotland. Their son, Murdach Earl of Menteith and 
second Duke of Albany, succeeded his father as Begent of Scotland; and 
the sad fate of himself and his family at the hands of King James the First is 
matter of history. The earldom of Menteith was then forfeited to the Crown. 

The Graham Earls of Menteith, who acquired the earldom as diminished 
by King James the First, enjoyed it for nine generations — upwards of two 
centuries and a half. The most conspicuous of this line was William 
Graham, the seventh Earl, who was a distinguished statesman in the reign of 
King Charles the First. He attained a high political position as Earl of 
Menteith, being made Justice-General of Scotland and President of the 
Privy Council. He also laid claim to and obtained the earldom of Strathern, 
as the lineal heir of Prince David, son of King Bobert the Second. But this 
claim, and an alleged rash boast that he had the reddest blood in Scotland, 
and a better right to the Crown than the King himself, so alarmed Charles 
the First that he revoked the grant of Strathern, even sought to suppress in 


part his title of Menteith by a new title of Earl of Airth, and deprived him 
of all his high judicial offices. The eldest son and heir-apparent of that Earl, 
John Lord Kilpont, was killed by James Stewart of Ardvoirlich while 
they were fellow-officers in the army of Montrose at the Kirk of Collace 
shortly after the battle of Tippermuir. The only son of Lord Kilpont 
succeeded his grandfather as eighth Earl of Menteith, and died in 1694, 
without issue. Since that time the titles of Earl of Menteith and Airth 
have lain dormant, with the exception of the occasional illegal assumption of 
the title of Menteith by William Graham, who was known as the " Beggar 
Earl." His history has a touch of the romantic. At an election of Peers 
on 12th October 1744, being then a student of medicine, he answered to 
the title of Earl of Menteith, in respect of his being executor confirmed to 
"William the last Earl of Menteith and Airth, who died in 1694. 1 He also 
voted at several subsequent elections. 2 William Graham was the direct heir, 
through his mother, of Lady Elizabeth Graham, sister and co-heiress of the 
last Earl William, by her husband, Sir William Graham of Gartmore, and 
also through her was a descendant of King Eobert the Second, by his marriage 
with Euphemia Eoss ; but his great lineage did not save this unfortunate 
claimant of the earldom of Menteith from lunacy and poverty. Elections 
of Peers he shunned as much as he had formerly resorted to them, and on 
the eve of an election he would escape from Edinburgh with his "bags 
and wallets," lest his presence as a Peer might have the effect of con- 
cussing the election. The end of the " Beggar Earl " was indeed deplorable. 
He died through penury and exhaustion in 1783, on the roadside, near 
Bonhill, in the Lennox, when plying his vocation among the neighbouring 
farmers. 3 

1 Robertson's Peerage Proceedings, p. 243. 2 Ibid. pp. 255, 273, 275, 277, 290. 

3 Riddell's Peerage Law, pp. 646-7. 



Another claimant of the earldom, and a co-heir of Menteith with the 
unfortunate " Beggar Earl," was the celebrated Captain Barclay Allardice of 
Ury and Allardice, in right of his ancestress, Lady Mary Graham or Allar- 
dice, who was a co-heiress of Menteith. After the death of Captain Barclay 
Allardice, his only surviving child, Margaret Barclay Allardice, claimed 
the earldom of Airth as heiress of the last Graham Earl of Menteith. Her 
claim was opposed by Mr. Graham of Gartmore, as the heir-male of the 
Graham Earls of Menteith ; but as no final decision has yet been pronounced, 
the dignity still remains dormant. 

Such is a brief history of the successive Earls of Menteith. The eighth 
and last Earl having no children, conveyed the territorial earldom to his 
chief, James the third Marquis of Montrose. It was intended that the 
Peerage of Menteith should also be conveyed with the landed earldom, but 
the Crown refused its sanction. He left his personal estate to his nephew, 
Sir John Graham of Gartmore. 

The Menteith Muniments were kept in the time of the seventh Earl in 
his island residence of Talk, in the Lake of Menteith. In an inventory of 
them made in the year 1618, the Earl noted that there was the number 
of " tua hundreth wrettis of the earldome of Monteith lying lows in the 
Chartour-kist, not in invitour." 1 On the death of the last Earl, his muni- 
ments relating to the territorial earldom were inherited by the Marquis of 
Montrose, and Sir John Graham obtained the papers relating to the personal 
estate. The portion preserved in the Montrose Charter-room at Buchanan 
was first brought under my notice when engaged on behalf of the late Duke 
of Montrose investigating the claim made in the year 1850 by the late Earl of 
Crawford to a Dukedom of Montrose, which was alleged to have been created 

1 Original Inventory in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 


in favour of his ancestor in the year 1488. The other portion, which is pre- 
served at Gartmore, subsequently became known to me while investigating 
the claim of the late Mr. Graham of Gartmore to the earldom of Menteith. 

The two collections of Menteith Muniments preserved at Buchanan and 
Gartmore consist of charters of the earldom of Menteith, and the correspondence 
of the seventh Earl with King Charles the First, Sir William Alexander, 
afterwards Earl of Stirling, as secretary of state, and the famous lawyer, Sir 
Thomas Hope, lord advocate; also the letters of John Graham of Claverhouse, 
afterwards Viscount of Dundee, in reference to his proposed marriage with 
Helen or Eleanor Graham, the cousin and supposed heiress of the last Earl of 
Menteith, and the inheritance by Claverhouse of his earldom. Both the Duke 
of Montrose and Mr. Graham of Gartmore readily gave consent that the 
Menteith Muniments in their respective repositories should be formed into a 
book similar to that on " The Lennox," which was mainly compiled from the 
Lennox and Darnley Muniments at Buchanan. The late Mr. George Stirling 
Home-Drummond of Blair-Drummond undertook the expense of printing the 
Menteith book, and confided to me the task of editing the work. The 
undertaking upon the part of that gentleman was very appropriate. From 
early times and in various ways the Drummond and Menteith families have 
been closely allied, as will be seen in the course of this work. The 
final resting-place of a distinguished Drummond in the fourteenth century 
was in the Priory of Inchmahome, in the Lake of Menteith, where the tomb- 
stone of Sir John Drumrnond is still preserved alongside the monumental 
stone of Walter Stewart, Earl of Menteith, and his Countess. The Drummond 
ancestors of Mr. Home-Drummond have long been proprietors of a large and 
beautiful estate in Menteith, and his great-grandfather, Lord Karnes, as 
husband of the heiress of Blair-Drummond, made a marvellous improvement 
in a large tract of land by the reclamation of Blair-Drummond Moss. 


Emulating the other improvements on the estate made by his ancestors, the 
late Mr. George Horne-Drumrnond reared a noble mansion on a commanding 
situation to the north of the former house of Blair-Drummond. The new 
castle is one of the largest in Menteith, and will always be a monument to 
the good taste of the late owner. From its elevated position it is even a 
more prominent object than the neighbouring castle of Doune, which was 
erected by Eobert Stewart, Earl of Menteith and Duke of Albany. 

Mr. Home-Drummond unhappily did not live to see the book on Menteith 
completed, having died during its progress, in which he took much interest. 
On his death the following appropriate notice of him was written by an 
old and valued friend, the late Sir William Stirling-Maxwell of Keir, who 
himself was a distinguished man of Menteith : — 

" Mr. Home-Drummond of Blair-Drummond, who died at the Alexandra 
Hotel, Hyde Park Corner, on Saturday, 3d June, will be deeply regretted by 
a large circle of friends and neighbours. Eldest son of the late Henry Home- 
Drummond of Blair-Drummond, who represented Stirlingshire in Parliament 
from 1820 to 1830, and Perthshire from 1841 to 1852, was for many years 
Vice-Lieutenant of Perthshire, and a leading member of the Conservative 
party in Scotland. He was born on the 1st of March 1813. He received his 
education at the New Academy at Edinburgh, and at Christ Church, Oxford, 
where he graduated in or about 1834. An excellent scholar, he inherited 
much of the ability and the literary taste of his father and his great-grand- 
father, Henry Home of Karnes, well known as an eminent judge and author, 
and as the far-sighted agriculturist whose plans, steadily pursued for fifty 
years, turned the wilderness of Blair-Drummond Moss into a fair expanse of 
smiling farms. After leaving college, Mr. George Home-Drummond spent a 
considerable number of years in European travel, and made himself master 
of the languages and literature of France and Italy. During the lifetime of 

-ff .■'■< 

i , %>.* % '''ikm% 

8fa» <4i it.. 



his father, his home was for some years at Ardoch, in Perthshire, an estate 
to which he succeeded at the death of his maternal uncle, William Moray 
Stirling of Ardoch and Abercairny, and on which he made considerable 
improvements. In 1867 he succeeded to his large patrimonial estate of 
Blair-Drummond, and soon afterwards commenced the noble mansion there, 
which was only finished in 1874, and which is one of the most important and 
successful of the recently-erected country houses in Perthshire. The site 
chosen was a finely-wooded eminence to the west of the old house, 
commanding magnificent views, eastward, of the vale of Stirling, and, 
westward, of the rich scenery which is bounded by the Grampians. 

" Mr. Drummond was throughout the greater part of his life a diligent and 
judicious collector of books, and his library, both as regards its contents and 
the lofty galleried apartment in which they are displayed, is amongst the most 
considerable in Scotland. A student as well as a collector, he read the books 
which he bought, and his mind was as well stored as his shelves. Few men 
were better acquainted with almost all departments of general literature, and 
more able to settle, offhand, any point of controversy, from the resources of 
a singularly strong and accurate memory. Historical and antiquarian 
research, especially relating to his own country, was his favourite pursuit, 
and he had accumulated a considerable mass of notes and papers relating to 
the earldom of Menteith. These papers he placed some years ago in the 
hands of Mr. William Fraser, and it is to be hoped that they will ere long 
form part of an historical volume on that interesting district, with which Mr. 
Drummond was connected both by the ties of property and by his maternal 
descent from Sir John Drummond, who lies buried in the aisle of the Priory 
of Inchmahome. Endowed with a fine taste for art, cultivated by travel and 
research, Mr. Drummond enriched his family mansion with many acquisitions, 
to which his successors at Blair-Drummond will in after-days point as their 

vol. I. b 


most cherished heirlooms. His intimate friends will acknowledge that he 
has left behind him few more instructive and agreeable companions ; and 
many will grieve to think that his pleasant face and exhilarating and 
contagious laugh will be seen and heard no more amongst them. Of a retiring- 
disposition, he shrank from what are called public appearances, and he 
therefore took no prominent part in public affairs, though he was exact in 
the discharge of his local duties as an extensive proprietor of land. During 
his whole life he was a steady supporter of the Conservative party, and the 
esteem in which he was held by his tenantry and neighbours enabled him to 
maintain in the county politics of Perth and Stirling his own quiet share of 
that influence with which the sagacity and services of his father had invested 
the Drurnmond family. He was twice married — first, in 1840, to Mary, 
eldest daughter of the late Mr. Hay of Dunse Castle, whose death at a very 
advanced age we lately recorded ; and secondly, in 1863, to Kali tza, eldest 
daughter of Mr. Eobert Hay of Linplum, who survives him. Leaving no 
cbildren by either marriage, he is succeeded by his brother, Mr. Charles Home- 
Drummond Moray of Abercairny, who thus unites the estates of the old 
Berwickshire stock of the Homes of Karnes to those of three old and esteemed 
families in the county of Perth — the Drummonds of Blair-Druminond, the 
Stirlings of Ardoch, and the Morays of Abercairny." 1 

As the successor of his brother, the present Mr. Charles Stirling-Home- 
Drummond Moray of Blair-Drummond and Abercairny generously undertook 
to complete this work in fulfilment of the wishes of his brother. 

The father of these gentlemen, the late Mr. Henry Home-Drummond of 
Blair-Drummond, did great public service in various ways to the county 

1 Edinburgh Courant, 8th June 1876. The 
funeral of Mr. George Home-Drummond took 
place on the following day. His remains 

were interred in the family burial-place at 
the Church of Kincardine in Menteith. 


of Perth, which he represented in Parliament for many years. Through his 
marriage with Miss Christian Moray, elder daughter of Colonel Charles 
Moray of Ahercairny, and Anne Stirling, eldest daughter and heiress of 
Sir William Stirling, fourth baronet of Ardoch, his sons have inherited the 
estates of Ahercairny and Ardoch ; and Mr. Drummond Moray, the present 
proprietor of these estates, is a large landowner in Strathern as well as 
in Menteith. On the death of Mr. Henry Home-Drummond on 12th 
September 1867, the following tribute to his memory appeared in a contem- 
porary journal : — 

" The late Mr. Home-Drummond of Blair-Drumruond, whose death was 
intimated in our columns a few days ago, deserves that a fuller tribute should 
be paid to his memory than we were able at the moment to offer. Although 
he had for years before his death retired from public life, and to many of our 
younger readers he may have been known merely as the respected proprietor 
of large patrimonial estates in the counties of Perth, Stirling, and Berwick, 
yet he had other and higher claims on the respect of his countrymen. 

" Mr. Home-Drummond was born in 1783. His father was the son of the 
celebrated Lord Karnes, a man of singularly varied powers, and who, while 
greatly distinguished in the fields of criticism and philosophy, was also 
eminent at once as a lawyer and a judge. His mother was a daughter of the 
Eev. Dr. Jardine, one of the ministers of Edinburgh, who belonged to the 
ancient family of Applegirth, in Annandale. Of this lady Lord Karnes said, 
with characteristic terseness, ' that she never spoke when she ought to have 
preserved silence, and never was silent when she ought to have spoken.' 
Her son inherited largely the excellent discretion of his mother. He received 
his early education at the High School of Edinburgh, where he greatly dis- 
tinguished himself as a classical scholar, and afterwards studied at Oxford, 
where he took his degree of LL.B. He was a close student, and carefully 


cultivated his excellent natural powers. He married Miss C. Moray of 
Abercairny, who predeceased him by a few years. 

" If the biography of Mr. Home-Drummond were written, it might fitly be 
arranged under the several heads of his character as a lawyer, a Member of 
Parliament and legislator ; a vice-lieutenant and magistrate of the county ; 
and as a country gentleman, and an ardent cultivator and improver of his 
paternal estates. He was admitted a member of the Faculty of Advocates in 
1S08. In 1812 the Lord Advocate of the day appointed him one of his 
deputes, and under the two succeeding Lord Advocates (Maconochie, after- 
wards Lord Meadowbank, and Sir William Eae) he was continued in office, 
and was entrusted with the conduct of a large part of the criminal business of 
Scotland, at a time when the management of this department required great 
courage and consummate skill. In this sphere he eminently distinguished 
himself in the remarkable State trials for sedition that occurred in 1817 and 
the three subsequent years. The Scotch bar never was stronger than at that 
time. There were giants in those days, but Mr. Home-Drummond proved 
himself able to cope with them, and never left the lists without vindicating 
his position. His mind was of a peculiarly judicial cast, and there can be 
little doubt, had he prosecuted his profession, that from his intellectual 
powers and his persevering habits of application, he would have gained the 
highest honours; but in 1821 he resigned his official appointment, and 
relinquished his general practice at the bar. 

" Mr. Home-Drummond entered Parliament in 1821 as member for Stirling- 
shire, defeating Sir C. Edmonstone by a small majority. In the general 
election of 1826 he was unanimously re-elected for Stirlingshire. In 1840 
he contested the county of Perth against Mr. G. D. Stewart, defeating his 
opponent by the large majority of 458. The victory was so complete that 
his opponents fled the field, and he was without opposition re-elected in 1842, 


and again in 1847. In 1852 lie gave way in a graceful speech at Perth in 
favour of his friend and neighbour, Mr. Stirling of Keir. Mr. Home- 
Drummond's politics were Conservative, but Ms conservatism was of a 
comprehensive and generous type. He was never an extreme party man, 
and he never wielded his political creed as an instrument of personal 
aggrandisement. Had he done so, the peerage might have been within his 
reach. The following philosophical exposition of his political views, delivered 
on the occasion of his second election for Stirlingshire in 1826, is remarkable. 
It might almost seem as if by a prophetic insight he had anticipated the present 
epoch. ' We live in times of a very peculiar description, when many things 
are in a state of alteration and transition ; and though there never was a 
time in which caution and prudence were more necessary in steering the 
vessel of the State, yet, on the other hand, sound policy seemed (to him) to 
require that we should not strive to live in times that had gone by, but 
rather seek to accommodate ourselves, painful as the effort may occasionally 
be, to the changes which are constantly passing around us, and which we 
have no more power to stop than we have to arrest the heavenly bodies in 
their course, that move by the same eternal laws of nature and providence. 
He could most sincerely assure them that he spoke from no love of change ; 
but that, on the contrary, he believed, if his mind and his motives were 
analysed, he was in more danger of being convicted of dread of innovation. 
Witnessing the progress of the human mind in the present age, rapid beyond 
all former precedent and example, and desiring to transmit unimpaired to 
posterity the blessings of the British Constitution, he was anxious to prepare, 
ere it became too late, for the changes that time and circumstances impe- 
riously require. These reflections naturally brought vividly to his recollection 
the impressive language which he lately heard, and that still sounded in his 
ears, " That if we obstinately persist in rejecting all improvement because it 


is innovation, the time will most assuredly soon come when we shall have 
innovation, whether we will or not, when it is no longer improvement." ' 

" Mr. H. Drummond achieved an honourable reputation as a Member of 
Parliament and as a legislator. He devoted hiinself assiduously to his 
Parliamentary duties. He was commonly considered to be a Peelite, and at 
all events he was intimately associated with the late Sir Eobert Peel in the 
management of Scottish business in Parliament. While he sat in Parliament, 
scarcely any statutes relating to Scotland were passed without his advice and 
assistance ; and there are several important statutes with which he was more 
especially connected, and which he had really the merit of carrying through 
the House of Commons. We may mention, among others, the General 
Turnpike and Statute Labour Acts, the Salmon Fishery Act, 19 Geo. IV., 
cap. 391, and the Eecovery of Small Debts Act. These statutes indicate no 
ordinary legislative ability, and prove the truly statesmanlike character of their 
framer. Mr. H. Drummond was especially interested in the last-named 
statute, and he might well wish his name to be associated with it, for it was 
the means of conferring on his poorer countrymen many great benefits. At 
the various county meetings over which he presided, and the deliberations 
of which he largely directed, Mr. H. Drummond showed his legal attainments, 
his varied knowledge, his excellent business habits, and his courtesy and tact, 
all which contributed to make him facile 2^'inceps in such an arena. He not 
only ruled with a wise hand, but his compeers felt that the place of authority 
was rightly due to him. He discharged all his duties as a country gentleman 
in an admirable manner, and as an improver and embellisher of his own 
estates, his skill, enterprise, and success have been remarkable. It was Lord 
Kames who originated the idea of floating away the superincumbent moss 
to the Forth from the rich alluvial substratum that underlies ' Blair- 
Drummond Moss ;' but it was his son and grandson who carried out and 


consummated the singular enterprise, and who thereby converted a wide 
expanse of heath-covered waste into a fertile plain. 

" No country gentleman ever better deserved or more largely enjoyed the 
respect of his tenantry. . He was strictly just and honourable in his 
intercourse with them. He was easy of access, and lived among them. 
Each-rents he knew to be not only ruin to the tenantry, but folly on the part 
of the landlord. But he was too ardent and skilful an improver himself to 
respect the indolent and ignorant cultivator. In the best sense of the word, 
he M'as a liberal landlord, and his numerous tenantry and dependents lived 
peaceably and prosperously under his wise and benignant rule. The private 
circle is sacred, but within it Mr. H. Drummond's mild virtues shed an 
unspeakable charm. Mr. H. Drummond's family all survived him. Mr. G. 
Stirling Home-Drummond of Ardoch succeeds to the paternal estates, and 
will readily receive, as from his honourable and amiable character he is 
entitled to possess, the affectionate respect of his neighbours, tenantry, and 
dependents. The second son, Mr. C. Home-Urummond Moray, succeeded to 
the Abercairny estates, and is deservedly a most popular country gentleman. 
The only daughter of the late Mr. H. Drummond is the Dowager-Duchess of 
Athole. It is unnecessary to say, for it is universally known, how admirably 
this noble lady has discharged, and continues to discharge, all the duties of 
her elevated station, or to advert to the remarkable place which she holds in 
the affections of her Majesty the Queen. He belonged to the last generation. 
He died at the ripe age of eighty-four. At this moment we know not that 
we could find many men who have stronger or more varied claims on the 
respect of their countrymen than the late Henry Home-Drummond of 
Blair- Drummond." 1 

Of the marriage of the late Mr. Henry Home-Drummond and the heiress 
1 Edinburgh Courant, 16th September 1S67. 


of Abercairny and Ardoch there was issue two sons and one daughter. In the 
previous generation the children were also two sons and one daughter. In 
the present generation the children are also two sons and one daughter. In 
all these cases the birth of the daughter occurred between the births of the 
sons. The daughter of the late Mr. Henry Home-Drummond is Anne, 
Duchess of Athole, who by her marriage with the late Duke of Athole closely 
connected another large district of the county of Perth with those previously 
in possession of the family. 

The charters relating to the Earls and earldom of Menteith, printed in 
the second volume of this work, will be found very interesting. They 
commence with a charter by King William the Lion in the twelfth century. 
The other charters have special reference to the families of Menteith, Corny n, 
Stewart, Hastings, and Graham, who successively held that earldom. The 
charters also elucidate many points which have hitherto been involved 
in obscurity. The heiresses of Menteith, with their intermarriages, are one 
by one distinguished and established on a historical footing. The distin- 
guished House of Drummond, though divested of the royal Hungarian descent 
hitherto claimed for it, now appears in its true light without in the least 
derogating from the illustrious position it has so long held. 

An agreement in 1371 between Eobert Stewart, Earl of Menteith, after- 
wards Earl of Fife and Duke of Albany, and Isabel Countess of Fife, is 
now printed from the original. Previous imperfect prints had puzzled and 
misled even that acute historical critic, Lord Hailes. 

Attention may also be directed to the Papal Bulls and other documents 
relating to the Priory of Inchmahome, which, with one exception, have 
never before been published. These documents will be welcome information 
about a religious house in which two illustrious Sovereigns of Scotland, 


King Eobert the Bruce and Queen Mary, respectively found shelter in the 
troublous times of their chequered reigns, and of which John Erskine, 
afterwards Lord Erskine, Earl of Mar and Eegent of Scotland, was for some 
years the Erior or Commendator. It was from Eobert Erskine, his immediate 
predecessor in office, that the learned George Buchanan and his brothers, 
when young, received assistance by a grant of the lands of the Priory. 

The documents now printed not only amply support the conclusions in 
the text as to the ancient Earls and earldom of Menteith, and the numerous 
interesting points arising from that subject, but also form a valuable contri- 
bution to Scottish history at a period which hitherto has yielded but Kttle 
to the historian. 

Not the least interesting portion of the collection of original documents 
in the second volume of this work will be found in the correspondence 
addressed to William Graham, seventh Earl of Menteith, which has never 
before been printed. The correspondence has been arranged into three 
divisions : Eoyal Letters, State and Official Letters, and Family and Domestic 
Letters. The chief part of the Eoyal Letters were written by King Charles 
the First, many of them being holograph, and all tend to show the high confi- 
dence which that monarch placed in the Earl previous to his unfortunate claim 
to the ancient earldom of Strathern. The latter is addressed as Chief-Justice 
of Scotland, President of the Privy Council, and as filling other high offices. He 
receives many special and confidential instructions, such as against certain 
persons for harbouring Jesuits ; as to the precedency of the newly created Nova 
Scotia Baronets ; as to the dues of the Crown ; to ascertain the qualifications 
of certain persons seeking titles of honour ; and other matters nearly affecting 
the King's interest. He also receives advice of a more personal nature, as in 
one letter the King desires him in particular, as Fresident of the Council, to 
be present at, and to countenance the administration of the communion, 

vol. I. c 


which had been interrupted by the turbulence of certain persons. Much 
power also is placed in the Earl's hands as to dealing with individuals. On 
one occasion he is authorised to accept probable presumptions of guilt as 
sufficient to inflict condign punishment on the rebels of the Borders. He 
receives full power to compel Lord Napier of Merchiston, then Treasurer- 
Depute, to resign his office, and failing his doing so, to bring him to trial. 
Instructions are given, under the King's own hand, not to bring Lord 
Ochiltrie to his trial, as he was not likely to receive such a sentence as his 
Majesty desired ; and also to interfere in the choice of a Provost for the city 
of Edinburgh, to prevent any " unconforme " man filling the post during the 
King's intended visit to Scotland. And even after the Earl fell under the 
King's displeasure, when the resistance to the royal schemes began in 
Scotland in 1638, we find his Majesty writing to the Earl of Airth, as one 
of his most reliable supporters. The Earl continued to receive special thanks 
from his Majesty for the opposition shown by himself and his son, Lord 
Kinpont, to the Covenanters. 

Among the State and Official Letters, the principal are those from Sir 
Thomas Hamilton, afterwards Earl of Haddington, Sir "William Alexander 
of Menstrie the poet, first Earl of Stirling, and Sir Thomas Hope, Lord 
Advocate. The letters of the Earl of Haddington and Sir Thomas Hope 
refer chiefly to proceedings in the Scotch Privy Council, although the latter 
was also interested in the Earl of Menteith's private affairs. Sir Thomas 
in his correspondence with the Earl, in whom the patronage of Scotland 
was then vested, was very urgent for the appointment of one of his sons as 
a Lord of Session. The repeated appeals which the learned Lord Advocate 
made are earnest and plaintive, and his invectives against a competitor 
are very severe. He also expressed his mind very freely on public men, 
remarking in one letter that Lord Traquair wrote a passage as false as 


the devil I 1 The letters of Sir Thomas Hope form the largest collection 
of his correspondence hitherto printed. As illustrative of his character up 
to the close of his life, we are permitted to print, from the collections of 
his descendant, the Earl of Hopetoun, the following recommendation of a 
successor in his office of Lord Advocate, which Sir Thomas Hope wrote 
shortly before his death : — 

I, Sir Thomas Hope of Craighall, his Majestie's Aduocat, taking to consideratiovm 
the calamitous estait of the kingdome, and how necessarie it is that (in cace of my 
decease) one be provydit to my place quho is not only indevit with giftis and abilities 
answerabill to the place of his Majestie's Aduocat, but also with the love and affectioun 
to Godis treuth, power and puritie thairoff, and to the liberties of the kingdome, and 
trusting that my desyre and judgement herein salbe acceptabill to his sacred Majestie 
and to the Estates, I do heirby declair that my oblischement caryis me in the first place 
to my cousing, Mr. Thomas Nicollsoun, in respect of the band of blood betuix him and 
me, and of the memorie of his worthie father, and befoir him of his thryis worthie 
vncle my maister, vnder quhom I lernit not only my calling as a citizen, but my calling 
as a Christian ; but if he, ather out off modestie or vtherwayes, sail declyne the place 
till the Lord mak him more rype, I think Sir Archibald Jonstoun of Wariston the 
fittest persoun for my place, both for abilitie, civill and spirituall, without exceptioun. 
And this I attest in sinceritie vnder my hand at Craighall, 23 February 1646. 

S K Thomas Hope. 2 

The correspondence gives interesting glimpses of political and party 
movements of the time, which, however, need not specially be referred to here. 
Sir William Alexander's letters are written chiefly in his capacity of Secretary 
of State, and give the aspect of political affairs from the point of view of the 
Court, while they are almost wholly silent as to his special scheme for the 
colonisation of Nova Scotia. 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 142. 

2 Sir Archibald Johnston succeeded Sir Thomas Hope as Lord Advocate. 


The family and domestic letters will amply repay perusal, especially those 
of the celebrated John Grahame of Claverhouse, afterwards Viscount of 
Dundee, who wrote passionate love letters about the heiress of Menteith, 
and was much chagrined when his suit was unsuccessful. He strongly urged 
the last Earl of Menteith to prefer him to his rival, the Marquis of Montrose. 
Claverhouse professed great friendship for the Earl of Menteith: "Provyd 
me," he says/" treues and a good bleu bonet, and there shall be no treuse 
trustier than myne." ' In another letter, Claverhouse warmly resents calum- 
nies against himself. He adds that " Labe has made me in love with the 
Yles of Menteith." 2 His letters are ten in number, several of them of 
considerable length. 

The late Mr. Mark Napier, in his " Memoirs of Dundee," printed sixty- 
four letters by Claverhouse, which he says is the whole of his epistolary 
correspondence that he could discover to be extant. 3 Of these sixty-four 
letters, forty are said to be printed for the first time from the Queensberry 
Papers, among the archives of the Duke of Buccleuch. 4 In the first volume 
of his " Memoirs of Dundee," published in 1859, Mr. Napier explains that the 
late Mr. Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, who had written a Memoir of Dundee, 
recommended him to search the Queensberry archives for materials about 
Dundee. The Duke of Buccleuch had himself arranged the Queensberry 
correspondence into a series of volumes bound and lettered, which greatly 
lightened the labour of Mr. Napier's consultation of them, as he explains 
in his preface. From the collection so communicated to him he says lie 
extracted the forty letters of Dundee, which he printed in his first and two 
subsequent volumes. 

To another ducal collection, that of His Grace of Montrose at Buchanan, 

1 Vol. ii. p. 187. 3 Memoirs of Dundee, vol. ii. p. 9. 

* Ibid. p. 200. l Ibid. p. 11. 


Mr. Napier had also access, from which he extracted his chief materials 
for his Memoirs of Montrose. The correspondence at Buchanan not being so 
well arranged as the Queensberry correspondence, and requiring careful 
search for their discovery, the interesting letters of Claverhouse escaped 
the notice of Mr. Napier. They were discovered by the writer hereof after 
the Memoirs of Dundee were published, and are now printed in this collection 
for the first time. 

A question has been agitated in reference to the scholarship of Dundee : 
Sir Walter Scott said that he spelt like a chambermaid, while Lord Macaulay 
averred that the spelling of Dundee was like that of a washerwoman. Mr. 
Napier combats these statements, but in printing the forty letters of Dundee 
he has modernised the spelling in every letter. If the alterations had been 
on a limited extent, Mr. Napier might have been justified in modernising the 
orthography. But where the al'erations occur so frequently, Mr. Napier's 
operations on the correspondence are calculated to mislead the reader. 
Indeed, so entirely were reviewers misled by Mr. Napier's print of the letters, 
that they remarked on the contradiction which was given to Lord Macaulay's 
opinion of Dundee as a letter writer. 

As evidence of the difference between the letters to the Duke of Queens- 
berry as penned by Claverhouse, and the same as edited by Mr. Napier, the 
following, taken at random, are subjoined : — 

Original Letter. 
Kilkoubri, Apryl the 1. 1682. 
My Lord, — I am very happy in this busi- 
niss of this contry and I hop the deuk will 
have no raison to blame your Lordship for 
advysing him to send the forces hither for 
this contry now is in parfait peace, all who 
wer in the rebellion are ether seased, gon 
out of the contry, or treating their peace, and 

Mr. Napier's version. 
Kirkcudbright, April the 1st, 1682. 
My Lord, — I am very happy in this busi- 
ness of this country and I hope the Duke 
will have no reason to blame your Lordship 
for advising him to send the forces hither. 
For this country now is in perfect peace ; all 
who were in the rebellion are either seized, 
gone out of the country or treating their 


they have alraidy so conformed as to going 
to the church that it is beyond my expection. 
In Dumfries not only almost all the men ar com 
but the woemen have givin obedience, and 
Earngray Welshes owen parish have for the 
most pairt conformed and so it is over all the 
contry so that if I be suffered to stay any 
tyme here I doe expect to see this the best 
setled pairt of the kingdom on this seyd tay 
and if those dragoons wer fix't which I wrot 
your Lordship about I might promise for the 
continuance of it. . . ." 1 

peace ; and they have already so conformed 
as to going to the Church that it is beyond 
my expectation. In Dumfries not only almost 
all the men are come but the women have 
given obedience ; and Irongray, Welsh's own 
parish, have for the most part conformed ; 
and so it is over all the country. So that if 
I be suffered to stay any time here, I do 
expect to see this the best settled part of the 
Kingdom on this side the Tay. And if those 
dragoons were fixed which I wrote your 
Lordship about I might promise for the con- 
tinuance of it. . . ." 1 

"London, Apryll the 10. 1683. 
" My Lord, — I delayed giving any answer 
to yours of the 29 of March wating for ane 
oportunity to speak with the deuk or raither 
to see if he would say any thing to me con- 
cerning your Lordship but having yesterday 
recaived yours of the thrid of Apryl I thoght 
not fit to delay it any longer I went imediatly 
to the deuk who gave me occasion to speak 
to him at full lenth first I shoued him that 
peaper about the feu dutys which he raid all 
over. ... I raid som pairts of your leters I 
thoght propre for severall subjects to the 
Deuk. He aproved of what was don desyrs 
your Lordship to goe on and looks on it as 
good service. . . ." 2 

London, April the 10th, 1683. 
Mr Lord, — I delayed giving any answer to 
yours of the 29th of March, waiting for an 
opportunity to speak with the Duke, or 
rather to see if he would say any thing to me 
concerning your Lordship. But having yester- 
day received yours of the 3d of April, I thought 
not fit to delay it any longer. I went imme- 
diately to the Duke who gave me occasion 
to speak to him at full length. First I 
showed him that paper about the feu duties 
which he read all over. ... I read some 
parts of your letters, I thought proper for 
several subjects, to the Duke. He approved 
of what was done, desires your Lordship to 
so on and looks on it as good service. . . ." -' 

Stranraer Mairch the 13. 
My Lord, — I am sorry that their comes 
such alarums from the West. I can hardly 

1 Original Letter at Drumlanrig. 
° Ibid. 

Stranraer, March the 13. 1682. 
My Lord: — I am sorry that there comes 
such alarms from the West. I can hardly 

1 Memoirs of Dundee, vol. ii. p. 272. 

2 Ibid. p. 332. 


believe that things ar com that lenth yet. I 
am seur there is not the least apearance here 
as yet and if anything give them couradge it 
will be the retyring of the forces. I think it 
is very just we should be on our gaird and I 
am resolved to keep closser tho' I should loss 
the movibles and take feu prisoners. I was 
just begining to send out many pairtys, fynd- 
ing the rebels becom secur and the contry 
so quyet in all apearance, I sent out a pairty 
with my tutor Labe three nights agoe. The 
first night he tuke Drumbui and on Mkclellen 
and that great villain Mkclorg the smith at 
Menegaff that made all the elikys and after 
whom the forces has troted so often, it cost 
me both paines and mony to knou hou to 
fynd him. I am resolved to hang him for it 
is necessary I make som exemple of severity 
least rebellion be thoght cheap here, there 
can not be alyve a mor wiked fellow. . . ."' 

believe that things are come that length 
yet. I am sure there is not the least appear- 
ance here as yet ; and if anything give them 
courage, it will be the retiring of the forces. 
I think it is very just we should be on our 
guard, and I am resolved to keep closer, 
though I should lose the moveables and take 
few prisoners. I am just beginning to send 
out many parties finding the rebels become 
secure and the country so quiet in all appear- 
ance. I sent out a party with my [brothr 
Dave f] three nights ago. The first night he 
took Drumbui and one Inkcldlan and that 
great villain M'Clorg, the smith at Minnigaff 
that made all the elikys, and after whom the 
forces have trotted so often. It cost me both 
pains and money to know how to find him ; 
I am resolved to hang him ; for it is neces- 
sary I make some example of severity least 
rebellion be thought cheap here. There can- 
not be alive a more wicked fellow. . . ." 2 

In the present collection the letters are printed exactly as they are 
written in the original, without modernising the spelling. Eeaders are thus 
enabled to form an opinion for themselves on the charges of illiterateness 
alleged against Dundee by the two eminent writers referred to. 

1 Original at Drumlanrig. 

2 Memoirs of Dundee, vol. ii. p. 270. 





LONG- anterior to their present connection with Menteith, the Drummond 
family were associated with that earldom. They held various lands 
in the territory of Menteith under the Earls of Menteith as their feudal 
superiors. In the collection of charters printed in this work, there is 
one by Murdach Earl of Menteith, son of Earl Alexander, without date, 
but probably made about the year 1330, in favour of Gilbert of Drummond, 
of the lands of Boquhapple, in the earldom of Menteith, which were to 
be held by him of the Earl for homage and service. The charter contains 
very special provisions as to the holding and succession of the lands. It 
is provided that if Gilbert of Drummond should predecease Matilda his 
spouse, the latter was to enjoy the lands for her life, and if Gilbert should 
die without sons, the lands, after the decease of Matilda, were to be inherited 
by Ellen, the daughter of Gilbert, and her sons; and failing Ellen, then 
her sisters Elizabeth, Johanna, and Annabella, and their sons, should suc- 
cessively inherit the lands ; and failing all of them, then the heirs of 
Gilbert of Drummond. That charter was witnessed chiefly by Menteiths 
and Drummonds. 1 

The late Mr. Henry Drummond, in his History of the Drummond 
Family, states that Gilbert Drummond was the second son of Sir Malcolm 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 227. 




Drummond, and that Gilbert received from his father a grant of the barony 
of Boquhapple, which had been granted to his ancestor by Murdoch Earl of 
Menteith, who lived in the reign of David the First. But Mr. Drummond 
has obviously mistaken the date of the grant of Boquhapple, when he 
describes it as having been made in the reign of King David the First, 
instead of in that of King David the Second, which makes a difference of 
fully two centuries. 

Sir John Drummond, the elder brother of Gilbert Drummond of 
Boquhapple, appears to have been a liberal benefactor to the Priory of 
Inchmahome. Amongst the lands which belonged to the Priory was 
Cardross in Menteith, which tradition says was granted by Sir John or his 
father to the Priory. Two of the four chapels which were dependent on the 
Priory stood on the lands of the Drummonds. The chapel at Chapel- 
laroch, which was dedicated to the Virgin, was in the barony of Drummond, 
and the ruins of it were standing so late as the year 1724. The chapel of 
Boquhapple was on the property of the Drummonds. These chapels show 
the close connection of the family with the Priory of Inchmahome, in which 
is the first known burial-place of the Drummonds. Sir John Drummond, 
who is said to have died about the year 1300, was buried near the high altar, 
and a flat tombstone which was placed over his grave is still in tolerable 
preservation. A drawing of the effigy of Sir John in armour, and of the 
inscription as carved on the stone, are here given. It represents in indented 
lines a warrior, accompanied by the tutelary Saint Colmocus, with Saint 
Michael and the dragon ; in the right hand of the warrior is a long spear, on 
his left side a sword, and on his left arm is placed his shield with the well- 
known armorial bearings of the bars wavy, which is the earliest instance of 
these having been borne by a Drummond. Around the edges of the stone 
is the following legend in elevated letters: — 

vol. i. d 


Jfohantus ii£ grtittuib filths Jftolqalmi hz gttmuri) : bib. . . . eoVo&t antmas 

£orum a pma et art) . . . 

[John of Drumrnond, son of Malcolm of Drummond : his widow that 
she might loose their souls from punishment and the sting, etc.] 

This stone shows that the Priory was dedicated to St. Michael and St. 
Colmoc, whose figures are represented. St. Michael's fair or festival was 
formerly held on the shores of the lake, near to the parish church of Port-of- 
Menteith, and was discontinued only within the memory of persons still alive. 

Another and earlier connection between the Drummond family and 
Menteith appears incidentally from certain documents relating to Sir 
Edmund Hastings, the second husband of Lady Isabella Comyn, only 
daughter of "Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith, and Isabella Countess of 
Menteith his wife. The history of Countess Isabella and her husband will 
be given in a subsequent chapter, but it may be in part conveniently 
anticipated here. Sir Edmund Hastings was the younger brother of John 
Hastings, Baron of Abergaveny, one of the competitors for the Crown 
of Scotland after the death of King Alexander the Third. John Hastings 
opposed the claims of Bruce and Baliol, and claimed the Crown for 
himself, and in this he was assisted by his brother, Sir Edmund ; but 
after the settlement by King Edward the First in favour of Baliol, the 
two Hastings brothers appear to have acted with the latter. Sir Edmund 
Hastings had by this time, through his marriage with Lady Isabella 
Comyn, become proprietor of that portion of the earldom of Menteith which 
was adjudged to that lady. His residence at Menteith brought him into 
contact with his neighbour John of Drummond, and when at the battle 
of Dunbar the latter had the misfortune to fall into the hands of King 
Edward the Eirst, Sir Edmund Hastings, in order to obtain his release, 
became surety for him. John of Drummond had been incarcerated in the 


castle of Wisbeach in England, but on Sir Edmund Hastings offering 
himself as security, and on the further condition that he would accompany 
King Edward to France, he was set at liberty. The writ for his liberation is 
dated in the month of August 1297. 1 

Another alleged connection between the Drummonds and Menteith in the 
year 1301 calls for a more detailed explanation, as it necessitated a more 
searching investigation into the facts. Sir Edmund Hastings having married 
Lady Isabella Comyn, after the death of William Comyn, her first husband, 
was in her right legally entitled to that portion of the earldom of Menteith 
which was awarded to the Comyns through their descent from Isabella 
Countess of Menteith, the elder sister of Mary Countess of Menteith. 

After his marriage with Lady Isabella Comyn, Sir Edmund Hastings was 
one of the Barons of England who addressed the famous letter to Pope Boniface 
in the year 1301. That letter is still preserved in duplicate in the Public 
Record Office, London. These duplicates were formerly preserved in the 
Treasury of the Eeceipt of the Exchequer, Westminster, from which they were 
removed to the new Public Record Office after it was built. From a recent 
personal inspection of these duplicates of the letter and the seals, as well as 
of drawings which were made of the seals by Augustus Vincent, Windsor 
Herald, in 1624, and by John Bradshaw, Windsor Herald, in 1629, the writer 
is enabled to give an explanation of the present state of the original seals 
appended to the letter, as well as of the several drawings which have been 
made of them officially, and which were published by the Society of Anti- 
quaries, London, in 1729. The collection of seals appended to the letter as a 
whole is perhaps the finest ever appended to any single document. Though 
now nearly six hundred years old, the greater number of the seals are still in 
excellent preservation, the engraving of them being remarkably fine, and as 

1 Eymer's Foedera, vol. i. p. 872. 



a rule uninjured. The duplicate seals of Sir Edmund Hastings are inferior 
to the others in the quality of the wax, being very soft and friable, while the 
others are generally very hard. Owing to so many seals being hung upon each 
silk string attached to the letter, and rubbing against each other, and from all 
the seals being enclosed in a box without any packing to protect them from 

injury, it is not surprising to find the legend on one of the duplicate seals 
of Edmund Hastings all worn off with the exception of part of two letters 
at the lower left-hand side, while on the other duplicate mere fragments only 

These seals have now very much 

of the letters of the legend now remain. 


the appearance of the drawing of one of them given in Mr. Henry Drum- 
mond's book on the Drummonds in 1846, an engraving of which is given 
on the opposite page. 

So early as the year 1624, we have evidence that this very valuable 
collection of armorial seals had attracted the attention of the officers of the 
College of Arms, and Augustus Vincent, Windsor Herald, a well-known 
member of the College, made a drawing on vellum of the whole of the seals. 
These drawings are still preserved as part of the Eecords of the College of 
Arms. At the end of his drawings he wrote the following certificate : — 
" All these seales were fastened to the said charter or letter with silke strings, 
with divers seales upon one string, and upon the backe of the writing right 
over against every labell or string were written the names of those whose 
seales depended thereon. Copied the 21st of October, anno Domini 1624. 
— (Signed) Aug. Vincent, Windesor." 

Augustus Vincent died in 1625, the year following that in which he 
completed the drawings of the seals. His successor in office as Windsor 
Herald was John Bradshaw. At the desire of Thomas Earl of Arundel and 
Surrey, Earl Marshal of England, he, in the month of November 1629, 
made a new drawing of the seals, and carefully collated them with the 
originals. The Society of Antiquaries of London in the year 1729 engraved 
the seals, and also the letter to which they are appended, in a series of 
six large folio plates, to which is subjoined this docquet — " These plates 
were drawn and engrav'd from two authentick transcripts (taken from 
the original) which are now preserv'd in the Herald's Office, London. That 
original not being now to be found." The plates were published in the 
" Vetusta Monumenta," vol. i. London, 1747. 

In Plate D of the plates, the seal of Edmund Hastings is given, contain- 
ing the bars wavy of six, with ornamental foliage on either side of the shield, 



and a lizard at the top, which is not an uncommon device either at the top 
or the side in other seals of the same period. The legend around the seal is 
also c;iven : — 

" <S . ffiiuttbttbt . pasting . GTcmitaib . Jrtetuiii." 

A drawing of the seal is here given exactly as in that plate. 

At a long interval after the publication of the seals in 1747, another 
learned antiquary, Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas, made a critical examina- 
tion of the whole of the seals, and his valuable report was given in the 
form of a letter to Sir Henry Ellis, secretary of the Society of Antiquaries 
of London, dated 15th April 1825. The letter is printed in the 
Archseologia of that Society, vol. xxi. pp. 192-231. Sir Harris deals in 
succession with each of these important seals and their legends, and he 
describes the seal of Edmund de Hastings, Lord of Enchimchelmok, as 


containing a shield charged with barry of six. wavy, which is inscribed, 
" S . Edmvndi . Hasting . Cornitatv . Meiietei," but adds that the legend is 
now very imperfect. 

It is thus proved by the drawings of the seal in 1624 and 1629, the 
engravings by the Society of Antiquaries in 1729, their publication in 1747, 
and the inspection and report of Sir Harris Nicolas in 1825, that the seal of 
Edmund Hastings contained the legend now quoted up to that comparatively 
recent date. Mr. Drummond in giving an engraving of the seal as at the date 
of his work in 1846, by which time the legend was almost entirely rubbed 
off, assumed from the bars wavy that it was a purely Drummond seal. He 
apparently overlooked the fact that both duplicates of the seal originally 
contained a very distinct legend that it was the seal of Edmund Hastings 
and of the earldom of Menteith. 

There is yet a further explanation to be given with reference to this 
remarkable seal. In the body of the letter Edmund Hastings is named and 
designated " Edinundus de Hasting, Dominus de Enchimeholmok." Sir Harris 
Nicolas, in his remarks on the seals attached to the letter to the Pope, says 
that it is impossible to explain the cause of the coat on the seal of six bars, 
being so materially at variance with that which is assigned to him. The 
place of which he describes himself was probably St. David's in Wales, in 
which province he had large possessions. J 

Sir Harris Nicolas was puzzled with the long-sounding designation of 
Enchimeholmok, and even if he could have disposed of it by placing it in 
Wales, as he suggested, he did not account for the legend bearing that the 
seal was that of the earldom of Menteith. The designation in the body of 
the letter, which clearly relates to Inchemacolmoc or Inchmahome, and the 
legend originally on the seal, appear to be conclusive that Sir Edmund 
1 Archseologia, vol. xxi. pp. 192-231. 


Hastings was using a territorial designation and an armorial seal applicable 
to the property of his wife Isabella Comyn, who was at the time in 
possession of that portion of the earldom which was adjudged to her as the 
daughter of the elder co-heiress. The armorial bearings of the original 
Earls of Menteith are stated by Mr. Eiddell to be unknown, although he 
throws out a hint that the Hastings seal may contain them. But this was 
only indicated in the form of a query, and not followed out to any conclusion. 
Mr. Henry Drummond, on the other hand, is mistaken in making it a 
purely Drummond seal, as such a supposition is a plain contradiction to 
the seal itself. The bars wavy are no doubt the well-known cognisance 
of the Drummonds. But as the legend originally on the seal declared 
it to be that of the earldom of Menteith, it could not be the seal of any 
Drummond. A Drummond might have borne the same or similar armorial 
charges, but no Drummond could encircle his seal with the legend that 
it was the seal of the earldom of Menteith, as no Drummond was ever in 
actual possession of, or even claimed any legal right to that earldom. The 
seal now noticed is clearly that of Edmund Hastings in right of his wife, 
and it shows that her arms, as heiress of Menteith, were barry of six, 
wavy. As the Drummonds were vassals of the Earls of Menteith from an 
early period, it is probable that they had adopted the arms of their feudal 
superiors. This seal thus affords evidence, which has long been desiderated, 
of the armorial bearings of the Menteith Earls of Menteith, and also as to 
the true origin of the Drummond arms. 

In granting or adopting arms it was usual to give or take some marks to 
show the distinguishing characteristic of the district or family, and it was 
very appropriate for the original Earls of Menteith to assume as their arms 
three bars wavy, in reference to three rivers which formed distinguishing 
features in the earldom. The rivers Teith and Forth rise in and wind through 


the district for many miles, and the river Allan also flows through a portion 
of Menteith to join the Forth. These three well-known rivers form peculiar 
features of Menteith, and one of them, the Teith, gives name to the entire 
district, from which the name of the earldom itself was derived. 

From an early period the Earls of Menteith were owners of Knap- 
dale in the county of Argyll, and of Arran in the Isle of Bute. In the 
reigns of King David the First (1124-1153), and again of King "William 
the Lion (1165-1214), the Earl of Menteith was appointed to have 
jurisdiction over Kintyre and Cowal. 1 In a charter by John of Menteith 
to Gillespie Campbell of Lochow, dated 29th November 1353, the granter 
is designated Lord of Knapdale and of Arran. 2 Knapdale is connected 
with a part of the ocean in which waves rise to a great height, as well 
as produce a great noise. Mr. Archibald Campbell, minister of the 
parish of North Knapdale in 1793, gives a very graphic account of 
the fury of the sea at Knapdale. He says, "Between the islands and 
the mainland the tide runs with a velocity incredible to a stranger. 
Between Jura and Scarba the space is about one mile over. In this 
narrow strait three currents, formed by the islands and mainland, meet a 
fourth, which sets in from the ocean ; the conflux is dreadful, and spurns all 
description : even the genius of Milton could not paint the horror of the scene. 
At the distance of twelve miles a most dreadful noise, as if all the infernal 
powers had been let loose, is heard. By the conflict of these inanimate heroes, 
who will not yield, though fighting twice a day since the foundation of the 
world, an eddy is formed which would swallow up the largest ship of the line. 
But at full tide these combatants take a little rest, and when they are asleep 
the smallest bark may pass with impunity. This gulf is called Coryvreckan.'' s 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 372. 2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 235. 

3 Statistical Account of Scotland, 1793, vol. vi. p. 260. 
VOL. I. e 


Besides Knapdale and Arran, the Earls of Menteith were owners of lands 
in Kintyre and Cowal. These two districts were dependent upon the 
earldom of Menteith before the district of Argyll was erected into a 
sheriffdom. The Campbells of Argyll acquired the barony of Kilmun and 
other lands in Cowal from Mary Countess of Menteith, the daughter and 
heiress of Alan Earl of Menteith. Two charters granted by her to her 
beloved cousin Archibald Campbell, son of Sir Colin Campbell of Lochow, 
without date, but probably granted about the year 1360, and not now known 
to exist, are described as part of the Argyll Muniments in the year 1700; 
and on the 4th of May 1407, Eobert Duke of Albany, as Earl of Menteith, 
granted a charter to Colin Campbell of Lochow of the lands of Strathackie in 
Cowal, which were held of the Earls of Menteith as superiors. These charters 
show that the Earls of Menteith owned lands in Kintyre and Cowal which 
were also surrounded by the sea, as well as in Knapdale and Arran. 

Those families who are connected with islands generally have in their 
armorial bearings a token of such connection. The Lords of the Isles, the 
Lords of Lome, the Earls of Orkney and Caithness, all bear galleys on their 
shields, betokening their close connection with the ocean and islands. 
In the Heraldic MS. of Sir David Lindsay, Lyon, in 1542, the arms of 
Menteith of Carse, descended from the Earls of Menteith, contain in the 
second and third quarters a lymphad sable, evidently in allusion to the 
ancient Menteith inheritances of Knapdale and Arran. Even as late as the 
seventeenth century the lymphad was taken as a crest by a Menteith cadet. 

As other great territorial magnates assumed armorial bearings with special 
reference to distinguishing features of their territories, it is reasonable to infer 
that the Menteith Earls of Menteith followed the prevailing practice, and 
assumed the bars wavy in reference both to the rivers and lakes in their Low- 
land possessions, and to the ocean waves around their Highland territories. 


In the neighbouring earldoms of Lennox and Strathern, and in the other 
great earldoms of Scotland, it was a frequent practice of the feudal vassals to 
assume the armorial bearings of their superiors with proper differences, 
and there is no reason to doubt that in the earldom of Menteith the same 
practice obtained. Owing to the brief and very early period during which 
the original or Menteith Earls of Menteith flourished, instances of the 
practice within Menteith have not hitherto been traced. But the seal 
of Edmund Hastings, bearing the legend of the earldom of Menteith, which 
we have just described, is of itself sufficient evidence that the bars wavy 
were the proper arms of that earldom, and that the Drummonds, as the 
feudal vassals of the Earls of Menteith, according to a very common practice 
in other earldoms, adopted similar arms. This is a simple and natural 
explanation of the origin of the Drummond arms, and is better authenticated 
than the alleged grant of bars wavy to the apocryphal Prince of Hungary as 
the captain of the vessel which brought the Princess Margaret to Scotland 
in the time of King Malcolm Canmore. 

In corroboration of this opinion, reference may be made to the seal of 
Alexander, sixth Earl of Menteith, about the year 1296. He was the 
eldest son of Walter Stewart, Earl of Menteith, and Mary his Countess. 
The seal of Earl Alexander is described as a shield charged with a fess 
invected surmounted by another fess cheque (Laing's Scottish Seals, vol. i. 
p. 129). The supposed invected fess is in reality three bars wavy, repre- 
senting the arms of the mother, while the fess cheque surmounting them 
is the armorial bearing of the father of Alexander. 

The suggestion now made for the first time as to the origin of the 
Drummond arms will be corroborated by an inquiry into the origin of the 
Drummond family. 



THE Drummond family have been amply provided with historians, the 
Honourable William Drummond, first Viscount of Strathallan, Mr. 
David Malcolm, and Mr. Henry Drummond, having in succession devoted 
themselves to the subject. These authors were all men of learning, and 
their works contain valuable information regarding this distinguished house ; 
but their histories are all equally unfortunate in ascribing to the famdy 
what must be considered an apocryphal origin. So bent were these writers 
on establishing the alleged descent from Maurice, the Hungarian gentleman 
or prince as he came to be called, that they overlooked a true royal alliance 
of the house of Drummond with a King of Scotland ; for instead of furnishing 
one Scottish Queen, the family produced two, Margaret and Annabella 
Drummond, the respective Queens of King David Bruce and King Eobert 
the Third. 

Lord Strathallan's history was written in the year 1681, and remained 
in manuscript till the year 1831, when one hundred copies were printed in 
quarto form for private circulation. In the preface to the printed work it 
is explained by the editor, that the author enjoyed the best advantages for 
the prosecution of his labours, not only in obtaining the use of the several 
accounts drawn up by previous writers, but in having free access to original 
papers, and to every other source of information regarding the collateral 
branches of a family to which he himself was nearly related, and of which 
he became so distinguished an ornament. 

On the title-page of his work Lord Strathallan professes to have given a 


true account of the original extraction, deduced from the first of the name of 
Drunimond, " ane Hungarian gentleman," and describes himself, not by his 
own name, but as " a friend to virtue and the family." He states that 
Edgar Atheling, heir to the crown of England, on the Norman conquest of 
England in 1066, being apprehensive of danger to himself, took shipping 
with his mother Agatha and his two sisters, Margaret and Christiana, to 
escape to Hungary ; but they were driven by a storm to land upon the north 
side of the Firth of Forth, in a harbour near to Queensferry, since called St. 
Margaret's Hope, from the name of Prince Edgar's sister Margaret. The 
royal refugees were carried to the neighbouring Court of King Malcolm 
Canmore at Dunfermline, where Malcolm and Margaret were soon afterwards 
married. In the train of the English royal family, it is alleged, there was a 
Hungarian, who was noticed for his skilful conduct of the vessel in the 
dangerous sea voyage. He was rewarded by King Malcolm with lands, 
offices, a coat-of-arms, and called Drummond ; " and so it seems this 
Hungarian gentleman got his name either from the office, as being captaine, 
director, or admiral to Prince Edgar and his company, for Dromont or 
Dromond in divers nationes was the name of a ship of a swift course, and 
the captaine thereof was called Dromont or Dromoner. . . " 1 

The author being uncertain of his position, adds an alternative in these 
terms : " Or otherwayes the occasion of the name was from the tempest they 
endured at sea ; for Drummond, v$ap mont, made up of the compound vScop 
and mont, signifying high hills of waters ; or Drummond from Drum, which 
in our ancient language is a height, and in Latin, Dorsum, a rigging or back, 
and und or ond, from the Latin unda a wave ; and to this the bars called 
unds, as they are blazoned in the Drummond armes, not only agrees, but 
retaine ane exact resemblance." 2 

1 House of Drummond, p. 14. 2 Ibid. p. 15. 


The author further states that the first lands given to that Hungarian 
hy King Malcolm Canmore lay in Dumbartonshire, and included the parish 
of Drurnmond in Lennox, which can be instructed, he says, " by old wryttes 
yet extant." "These wryttes," he remarks, "were extant in 1680, but were 
lost when Drummond Castle was besieged by the rebels under Cromwell and 
demolished in 1689." x The Hungarian Drummond, it is added, was also 
made heritable Thane of Lennox, and was killed at the battle of Alnwick. 
Lord Strathallan remarks that, " It is very probable this Hungarian 
Drummond's propper name was Maurice, albeit some say John, for it is 
originally a Dutch name, and wrytten Mauritz. . . . But the records of that, 
as also whom he married, and what children he left, are inlackeing, and 
thereby the names of the two heads of the family who immediately followed 
him are not so certaine as the rest of the generations." 2 The earliest 
genealogist of the Drummonds, and himself a member of the family, thus 
fixes their founder as a Hungarian gentleman of the name of Maurice or John. 

Lord Strathallan quotes a letter which was written by David, second 
Lord Drummond, in the year 1519, to a gentleman in Madeira, who, after 
his immediate ancestors had assumed another surname, adopted that of 
Drummond. 3 Lord Drummond obtained a birth-brief from the Privy 
Council of Scotland, in which and in his letter the tradition of the descent 
from the Hungarian is set forth. Lord Drummond was then in his minority. 
Lord Strathallan says he was "very young," 4 and his own testimony could 
not be of much value, as his father and grandfather both died young men, 
and never inherited the dignity of Lord Drummond. Colin Earl of Argyll, 
who was asked to sign the birth-brief, declined to do so, on the twofold 

1 Lord Strathallan's chronology is here at 2 House of Drummond, pp. 18. 19. 

fault in attributing these proceedings to 3 Ibid. pp. 93, 21, 25, 26. 

Cromwell long after his death. 4 Ibid. p. 169. 


ground that he denied the accuracy of the alleged Hungarian descent, and 
maintained that the Drummonds were descended from his own house. 

Mr. Malcolm, in his History of the Drummonds, follows the previous 
history of Lord Strathallan as to the Hungarian gentleman, but in 
addition advances him to the position of a royal Prince of Hungary, as the 
son of George, a younger son of Andrew King of Hungary. Mr. Malcolm 
also excels Lord Strathallan by finding a wife for Maurice, who, he says, 
as a mark of Queen Margaret's esteem, received in marriage one of her 
maids-of-honour, and from their children all the families of Drummond are 
descended, 1 as he proceeds to show generation by generation. 

Lord Strathallan and Mr. Malcolm also agree in their histories when they 
state that contemporary with Maurice Drummond was Walter, first Lord 
High Steward of Scotland, the son of Pleance, son of Banquo, Thane of 
Lochaber. This fabulous origin of the Stewart family was long believed 
even more firmly than the existence of the royal Hungarian Drummond, 
till finally exploded in recent times. No writer would now think of quoting 
Fleance and Banquo as the ancestors of the Stewarts. 

The third and latest historian of the Drummonds was Mr. Henry Drum- 
mond. He was a distinguished member of the house, and his splendidly 
illustrated work on the family, which forms a portion of his book of 
" Noble British Families," is a monument of his liberality and taste. 2 Mr. 
Drummond follows the two previous authors in ascribing the origin of 
the family to Maurice, whose pedigree he deduces as a Prince of Hungary, 
being, as Mr. Drummond says, son of George, youngest son of Andrew, 
King of Hungary, and his Queen Agmunda. The mother of Maurice was 
called Agatha, daughter to Gundolf, Baron of Podiebradie, in Bavaria. 

1 Malcolm's History, p. 13. account of each family included in his great 

2 Mr. Drummond told the author that the work cost him £1000. 



Each succeeding history improves upon the original tradition of the 
descent from the Hungarian Prince. But the writers were all unable to quote 
a single authentic proof of the existence of Maurice, the royal Hungarian, 
who in reality is a mere myth. Lord Strathallan calls him a Hungarian 
gentleman, Mr. Malcolm raises him to a Prince, and Mr. Henry Drummond 
gives his royal pedigree in Hungary for many generations anterior to his 
coming to Scotland in 106 6. 1 

A much simpler and more probably authentic explanation of the origin 
of the family name of Drummond is afforded by the features of the country 
in which we find the earliest persons of the name. The word Drummond, 
Drymen, or Drummin, is used as a local name in several counties of Scotland, 
as in Aberdeen, Banff, Elgin, Forfar, Inverness, Perth, and Boss. All these 
places, as well as the barony of Drummond or Drymen in the county of 
Stirling, which originally was a portion of the Lennox or Dumbartonshire, 
have doubtless been named, their geographical character being similar in 
each locality, from the Celtic word Druim, a ridge or knoll. 

Among those who lived at the period when surnames were being adopted, 
in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, was one Malcolm of Drummond, 
called also, as appears in the Cartulary of Lennox, Malcolm Beg, or Little 

1 A recent writer on the connection of the 
Drummonds with Menteith gives a splendid 
climax to the Hungarian hero, who is also 
called the young " Hanoverian," and to his 
naval exploit. After describing very minutely 
three waves, and three exactly, of a peculiarly 
rolling and hissing kind, the writer adds : — 
"The frail bark creaked from stem to stern 
and drifted fast ashore. He sprang amid the 
angry tide, and was rolled ashore ; and with 
the grasp of despair, clutching the rock, and 

dragging himself up on to the crags, he landed 
England's Princess and Scotland's Queen 
safe on land. He took the three waves for 
his coat-of-arms." The earliest historians of 
the Drummonds were proud that the Hun- 
garian had saved the Princess Margaret from 
shipwreck by his nautical skill. But the 
later writer adds to an actual shipwreck the 
horrors of a narrow escape from drowning of 
the Princess by three " hissing " waves, which 
became historic and heraldic. 


Malcolm. He and a brother named Gilbert appear as witnesses to the charters 
of Maldouen, third Earl of Lennox, from 1225 to 1270. But Malcolm of 
Drummond, as we also learn from the same Cartulary, was simply a chamber- 
lain to the Earl of Lennox, who had many officers in his earldom, including 
the " Judex de Levenax," the " Coronator," the " Tosheagor " or "Toshash- 
daroch," the " Camerarius," the " Senescallus," and the " Bacularius," the last 
three corresponding to the chamberlain, steward, and usher. 

Quoting an old genealogical work, Mr. Henry Drummond shows that 
none of the Hungarians and English who accompanied Queen Margaret 
received grants of land so extensive as those conferred on Prince Maurice. 
Mr. Drummond speaks of this conduct in a King so prudent and wary as 
Malcolm Canmore, as only to be accounted for by the relationship of Maurice 
to the Queen, and his superior rank to that of the other settlers. Mr. 
Drummond also states that Maurice was made hereditary Thane or Seneschal 
of Lennox, and that his estates reached from the shores of the Gareloch in 
Argyllshire across the counties of Dumbarton and Stirling into Perthshire. 
They consisted of the parish of Drymen, Koseneath, Cardross, Auchindon, 
Muithlaw, Kippen, Causlie, and Pinwick in Lennox, and Pinlarick in 

When these statements are tested by actual facts, as disclosed by 
charters, their error is very apparent. There is no evidence of any kind that 
any one of the family of Drummond ever held the office of Thane of Lennox. 
The first legal evidence on record refers to Malcolm Drummond Beg as 
Chamberlain of Lennox. The only piece of evidence in this connection 
worthy of consideration, quoted by Mr. Drummond, is a charter printed in 
the Cartulary of Lennox. In this charter, Robert Earl of Fife and Menteith, 
in the year 1400, confers upon Duncan Earl of Lennox the office of Coronator of 
the Lennox, which office heritably belonged " ad dominum de Drummonde." 

vol. i. / 


Mr. Drummond quotes this as a proof that his ancestors were heritable 
coronators of the Lennox. But the charter only proves that the office 
belonged to the Laird of Drummond previous to 1400 ; it does not show who 
the Laird of Drummond was, and he certainly was not the ancestor of the 
Lords Drummond, because at that date, 1400, they were not Lairds of 
Drummond, nor had they any connection with the lands of that name in 
the Lennox, for nearly a century afterwards. 

This is proved from the most authentic sources, for whatever other 
writs were lost in Drummond Castle as alleged, those relating to the lands 
and barony of Drummond or Drymen have been preserved ; and from the 
detail which follows, it will be seen that instead of Prince Maurice of 
Hungary receiving these lands from King Malcolm Canmore in 1070, as 
tradition states, the lands belonged to the Crown previous to the year 1489, 
when for the first time they were let on lease to John, first Lord Drummond, 
and afterwards granted to him in feu-farm. They were only held by his 
successors until the year 1630, and thus were in the Drummond family for 
less than a century and a half. 

Before treating of these charters in detail, it may be well to recur to 
the suggestion that the family name of Drummond arose from its earliest 
members being resident on, or in possession of, lands bearing that name. 
Here, again, however, there is no authentic proof of the alleged royal descent 
of the house. Instead of Prince Maurice the Hungarian and his descendants 
enjoying for many generations the possession of the thanedom of the 
Lennox, including the lands of Drymen, the earliest charter to the family 
of any lands bearing a similar name, is a charter in 1362, by Piobert Steward 
of Scotland, Earl of Strathern, to Maurice of Drummond, of the dominical 
lands or mains of Drommane and Tulychravin, in the earldom of Strathern. 1 

1 Original at Drummond Castle. 


Maurice Drummond was only a younger son of the house of Drummond, 
and it is doubtful if he ever entered into possession of these lands, since in 
1380 we find the secretary of the Earl of Strathern rendering an account 
for the earldom to the Crown, in which he debits himself with rents received 
from Maurice of Drummond of the lands of Freden, " Gaske comitis," 
Blarenarow, and Glenlechnarne, 1 while no mention is made of the Mains of 
Drommane and Tulycbravin, or any other lands in the earldom as per- 
taining to him. But whether Maurice of Drummond then entered into 
possession or not, it is clear from the description of the lands that they 
did not belong to the family of Drummond previous to the grant of 1362, 
but were part of the possessions of the Earl of Strathern, who, in the 
charter of that date, calls them his lands — " nostras terras," and they were 
then gifted by him for the first time to Maurice of Drummond. 

Following out the connection between the family of Drummond and the 
lands and barony of that name in the Lennox, it is found to be so different 
from the traditional account as to be worth stating in some detail, as deduced 
from the original charters still preserved. 

It is true that Maurice of Drummond, as stated, had an early charter of 
lands called Drommane or Drymen and Tullichravin ; but independently of 
the want of evidence as to his actual possession of them, it is to be noted 
that they are wholly distinct from the lands and lordship of Drummond 
afterwards acquired. The history of the latter is as follows : — ■ 

In the years 1451 and 1486, the lands of Drummond, as part of the 
earldom of Menteith, are entered in the Exchequer Eolls as the property 
respectively of King James the Second and King James the Third, and the 
rent of £40 was accounted for them and paid into the Exchequer. During 
the wars between the last-named sovereign and his son the Prince of Scot- 

1 Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vol. iii. p. 36. 


land, afterwards King James the Fourth, he made a grant of the lands of 
Drummond and Duchray, in 1488, to Alexander Lord Kilmaurs, who was 
also in the grant created Earl of Glencairn. Although John Lord Drum- 
mond, who was previously known as of Cargill, and had his residence at 
Stohhall, received his peerage from James the Third in the year 1487, just 
before the commencement of the war, he did not hesitate to join the party 
of the Prince, and rendered him valuable services in the struggle. In the 
year following the accession of King James the Fourth to the throne, he 
granted a lease, on 6th June 1489, in favour of John Lord Drummond, of 
the crown lands of Drummond, in the shire of Stirling, the grant to the Earl 
of Glencairn having been annulled shortly before. It is stated in the lease 
that the lands had been formerly possessed by the deceased Andrew Lord 
Avandale, and Alexander Stewart of Avandale. The lease was to endure 
for five years, and Lord Drummond was to use the office of bailiary in all 
things pertaining to the lands. 1 

On the expiration of that lease, King James the Fourth made a perpetual 
grant of the lands to John Lord Drummond, by a charter under the Great 
Seal, dated 31st January 1495. The charter bears that the grant was made 
for the good and faithful services rendered by Lord Drummond, and for the 
love and favour which the King had for him. The lands are described as the 
lands and lordship of Drummond, with the woods of the same, situated in the 
lordship of Menteith and sheriffdom of Stirling. The lands were to be held 
in free barony and forestry. 2 After attaining the age of twenty-five years, 
King James the Fourth granted a new charter to Lord Drummond of the lands 
and barony of Drummond, to be held in free barony and forestry. 3 

Although no castle or chief messuage is mentioned in these grants, it 

1 Original Lease at Buchanan. 2 Original Charter at Drummond Castle. 

3 Original Charter at Drummond Castle. 


appears from the infeftinent which followed upon them that such a place 
then existed, as the instrument of infeftment bears that the Sheriff of Stirling 
appeared at the principal or capital messuage of Drummond, and there gave 
sasine to Lord Drummond. 1 

The love and favour which the King bore to Lord Drummond, as expressed 
in the charter, was not confined to his Lordship, but extended to his eldest 
daughter, Margaret Drummond, who, it is said by the family historian, under 
a promise of marriage, had a daughter to the King, called Margaret Stewart. 
It appears from the accounts of the High Treasurer that the King was a 
visitor at Drymen, and that Lord Drummond made presents of roe-deer to 
his Majesty. According to the family historians, the King wished to marry 
Margaret Drummond ; and if that marriage had been celebrated, the family 
would have had the honour of furnishing three Queens to the Kings of Scot- 
land, as they had previously given two. Objections, however, against the 
marriage were raised by the nobility, who desired a union with a daughter of 
the King of England, to procure peace between the two nations, and by the 
clergy, who considered that the marriage would be unlawful, being within 
the forbidden degrees. The tragic end of Margaret Drummond and her two 
sisters, Lilias and Sybilla, is told in the history of the family, all the three 
having been supposed to be victims of poison. 

John, first Lord Drummond, survived to an advanced age. His son and 
grandson both predeceased him, and he was succeeded in his lands of 
Drummond by his great-grandson, David, second Lord, who obtained a precept 
from King James the Fifth for infefting him in the lordship of Drummond 
on 22d September 1525. 2 

Before infeftment was expede on that precept, a difficulty was raised as 

1 Sasine at Drummond Castle. The castle on Drummond was called Drumwhastle, or 
Drumnacaistal, the Ridge of the Castle. 2 Precept at Drummond Castle. 


to the right of David, second Lord Drunimond, to succeed to John, the first 
Lord, on the ground that the latter had been forfeited, in the year 1515, for 
using personal violence to Sir William Cumyng of Inverallochy, knight, then 
Lyon King-of-Arms. The encounter between Lord Drummond and the Lyon 
is thus described in the History of the Drummonds by Lord Strathallan : — 

" John Lord Drummond was a great promoter of the match betwixt his 
own grandchild, Archibald Earle of Angus, and the widdow Queen of King- 
James the Fourth, Margaret Teudores ; for he caused his own brother, Master 
Walter Drummond's sone, Mr. John Drummond, Dean of Dunblane and 
person of Kinnowl, solemnise the matrimonial bond in the Kirk of Kinnowl 
in the year 1514. Bot this marriage begot such jealousie in the rulers of the 
State, that the Earle of Angus was cited to appear before the Councel, and Sir 
William Cummin of Inneralochy, knight, Lyon King-at-Armes, appointed to 
deliver the charge ; in doing whereof he seemed to the Lord Drummond to 
have approached the Earle with more boldness than discretion, for which he 
gave the Lyon a box on the ear ; whereof he complained to John Duke of 
Albany, then newly made Governor to King James the Fifth, and the 
Governor, to give ane example of his justice at his first entry to his new 
office, caused imprison the Lord Drummond's person in the Castle of Black- 
ness, and forfault his estate to the Crown for his rashness. Bot the Duke, 
considering after information what a fyne man the Lord was, and how 
strongly allyed with most of the great families in the nation, was well pleased 
that the Queen-mother and Three Estates of Parliament should interceed for 
him ; so he was soone restored to his libbertie and fortune." 1 

After granting the precept of 22d September 1525, negotiations seem to 
have been entered into between King James the Fifth and David Lord 
Drummond with reference to the forfeiture of John, first Lord Drummond ; 
1 History of the House of Drummond, pp. 135-G. 


and on the 5th of January 1535, the King entered into an obligation to infeft 
Lord Drummond in all the lands which had belonged to his great-grand- 
father, John, the first Lord. 

The obligation by the King narrates that the lands of Lord Drummond 
were in the King's hands by reason of escheat and forfeiture through the 
accusation made against John Lord Drummond for the treasonable and 
violent putting of hands on the King's officer, then called Lyon King-of- 
Arms, and other points of treason then imputed to him, when he put himself 
in the will of John Duke of Albany, then governor, as the acts and process 
led in the Parliament of 16th July 1515 at more length bear. The King 
promised to infeft David Lord Drummond in all the lands, excepting Inner- 
peffrey, Foirdow, Aucterarder, Dalquhinzie, and Glencoyth, with the patronage 
of the provostry and chaplainry of Innerpeffry, which were to be given by 
the King to John Drummond of Innerpeffry, and to the King's sister, 
Margaret Lady Gordon, his spouse, in conjunct infeftment. 1 The obligation 
contains a provision that David Lord Drummond shall marry and have to 
wife Margaret Stewart, 2 daughter to the King's sister, Margaret Lady Gordon, 
and infeft her in the lands and barony of Cargill. It also contains other 
provisions, and is dated at Stirling Castle, 5th January 1535. 3 

Two months thereafter, on 5th March 1535, the King subscribed a signa- 
ture ordaining a charter to be made under the Great Seal in favour of David 
Lord Drummond, of the lands and lordship of Drummond in the shire of 
Stirling, extending in the King's rental to £40. The quaequiclmn clause 
bears that the lands were in the King's hands by reason of escheat and 

1 Lady Gordon was Lady Margaret Stewart, Alexander Duke of Albany), and Lady Mar- 
the daughter of King James the Fourth by garet Stewart, formerly Lady Gordon, his 
Margaret Drummond, as before mentioned. spouse. The marriage arranged was after - 

2 This Margaret Stewart was daughter of wards celebrated with Lord Drummond. 
Alexander Stewart, Bishop of Moray (sou of 3 Original at Drummond Castle. 


forfeiture through accusation made against the late John Lord Drummond 
for the treasonable and violent putting of hands on the deceased William 
Cuniyng of Inverallochy, knight, then Lyon King-of-Arms, for which Lord 
Drummond was forfeited on 16th July 1515. 1 In this signature appear 
also for the first time in a Crown grant the lands of Blanrowar and 
Glenlithorne before mentioned, as in the possession of Maurice of Drummond 
in 1380, and which are described as lying in the stewartry of Strathern 
and sheriffdom of Perth. 

A new signature was granted by King James the Fifth in the year 1541, 
in favour of David Lord Drummond, for a charter under the Great Seal to 
him of the lands and barony of Drummond, described as lying in the lordship 
of Menteith and shire of Stirling. This signature refers to the forfeiture of 
John, first Lord Drummond, for the alleged striking of the Lyon King-of- 
Arms, and it declares that his Lordship neither " tint nor forfault " his life 
nor heritage, chiefly because he was not accused of striking the Lyon, nor 
doing any violence to him in the execution of his office, and the King 
thereby ratified the restitution of John Lord Drummond to his lands, 
dignities, offices, and heritages, made by John Duke of Albany as Governor. 2 

In this signature, and in the charter of date 25th October 1542 which 
followed thereon, in which for the first time the possessions of Lord 
Drummond are united, created, and incorporated into a free barony, " to be 
callit in all tymes to cum the barony of Drummen," the enumeration of the 
lands is worthy of notice. 

The lands first named in the charter are the forty merk lands of old extent 
of Ouchterarder, followed in their order by the five-pound land of old extent of 
Drummen, with castle, fortalice, mansion, and manor-place thereof, the lands 
of Tullychthrawin, and others, while the lands of Drummond are described 

1 Original at Drummond Castle. 2 Ibid. 



last as the feu-farm lands and barony of Drurnmond and others, lying in the 
lordship of Menteith and shire of Stirling. The principal messuage of the 
united barony is appointed to be the principal castle, fortalice, and manor 
of the foresaid lands and barony of Drummen now built or to be built. 

The most positive proof of the distinction between the old and new- 
possessions of Drummond in Stirlingshire and Drommane in Strathern, is 
afforded by the instrument of infeftment narrating the infeftment of David 
Lord Drummond as heir of his great-grandfather in the lands and barony of 
Drummond, which instrument bears date 1st and 2d November 1542. 1 

This document shows that there were at least two separate infeftments 
given, the first of the feu- farm lands and barony of Drummond, and the lands 
of Blanrowar and Glenlithorne, by the Sheriff of Stirling ; and the second, 
of the lands and barony of Drummen, namely, the five-pound lands of old 
extent of the lands of Drummen, with castle, fortalice, etc., the lands of 
Tullichrawin and others, by the Sheriff of Perth. 

Queen Mary of Guise was provided by King James the Fifth in the lands 
of Drummond as part of her jointure lands, and she granted, on 2 2d 
November 1544, a discharge under her own hand for the feu-duties of these 
lands, which are there stated to lie within the Queen's lordship of Menteith. 
On the 5th March 1574, King James the Sixth, with consent of James Earl 
of Morton as Regent, granted a discharge to Patrick Lord Drummond of the 
feu-duties of the lands of Drummond, which are stated to lie in the Lennox. 
That discharge is granted on the narrative that the lands had been for a long 
time bypast harried by sorners and oppressors, wherethrough Lord Drummond 
was more superexpended in the defence of the inhabitants of the lands against 
reivers and oppressors nor the profit thereof had redounded to him or his pre- 
decessors for many years bypast. The King therefore authorises the auditors 

1 Original at Drummond Castle. 
VOL. I. g 


of the Exchequer to allow in his accounts the feu-maills of the lands of Drum- 
mond to the Chamberlain of Menteith, in whose bounds the said lands lie. 

Another sasine in favour of James Drummond, son and heir of Patrick 
Lord Drummond, in the said lands, bears that infeftment was given of the 
lands of Drummond, on the ground of the same at Chapellaroch, on the 3d, 
and afterwards of the lands of Auchtermuthil, at the fortalice or castle of 
Drymen, on the 7th November 1587. 

Other distinct proofs might be given from the original charters of the 
lands, but these are sufficient to show that whatever lands in the Lennox the 
earlier members of the house of Drummond might have held, such certainly 
did not comprehend the lands bearing their own name. Further, it is shown 
that the earliest possession by any member of the family of lands bearing a 
name resembling Drummond was in the earldom of Strathern, and consisted 
at the best of lands of comparatively small extent. 

The lands of Drummond descended to John, Earl of Perth, who sold them 
to William, Earl of Strathern and Menteith, by disposition dated 17th 
November 1631. They are described as the lands and barony of Drummond, 
alias Drymen, with woods, forests, etc., all lying locally and naturally within 
the parish of Drymen, lordship of Menteith, and shire of Stirling. The Earl 
of Perth obliged himself to enter the Earl of Strathern and Menteith into 
the actual possession of the manor-place of Drummond, and to deliver to 
him the keys thereof, and it is declared to be lawful to the Earl of Strathern, 
his Countess and others, servants, in their names, to enter to possession of 
the manor-place of Drummond without any process of ejection. 1 

The Earl of Perth also granted a charter to the Earl of Strathern and 
Menteith of the lands of Drummond or Drymen, with tower, fortalice, and 
manor-place of the same ; and on the procuratory contained in that dispo- 
1 Original Disposition at Drummond Castle. 



sition, a charter by King Charles the First was expede under the Great Seal, 
in favour of William, Earl of Strathern and Menteith, and Lady Agnes Gray 
his spouse, of the lands and barony of Drummond or Drymen, in the lordship 
of Menteith, dated 26th November 1631, and the Earl of Strathern and his 
Countess were infeft in the barony on 21st February 1632. The instrument 
bears that infeftment was given at the manor of Drummond, and before the 
door (januam) of the same. 

The lands descended to William, the eighth and last Earl of Menteith, 
from his grandfather, William, Earl of Strathern and Menteith. The eighth 
Earl entailed them upon James, Marquis of Montrose, and they have since 
then formed part of the Montrose estates. 

The lands of Eosneath, in the shire of Dumbarton, are also claimed as 
having been granted by King Malcolm Canmore to the alleged Hungarian 
Prince ; but this, like the former statement, is a mistake. The lands of 
Eosneath were acquired by the Drummond family from the Menteiths, and 
soon restored. By charter dated 31st March 1372, King Eobert the Second 
confirmed the grant which was made by Mary Countess of Menteith to John 
of Drummond, of the lands of Eosneath, and also the grant of these lands 
which Sir John of Drummond, deceased, had made to Sir Alexander Menteith, 
knight, in terms of an agreement, dated 17th May 1360, as to compensation 
for the slaughter of Walter, Malcolm, and William Menteiths. 1 Tbe lands 
of Eosneath were thus only for a short time in possession of the Drummonds, 
on a title derived from Mary Countess of Menteith. 

Lord Strathallan had access to the Drummond Writs, which he frequently 
quotes to show that Maurice the Hungarian had in property the parish of 
Drummond in Lennox, and how these lands had been alienated from the 
possession of the posterity of this Hungarian by his successors. After 

1 Original Agreement at Drummond Castle. 


enumerating the gifting of several Drummond possessions, Lord Strathallan 
adds, " And John Earle of Perth sold his lands of Drummond in Monteith to 
William Earle of Monteith, but about fifty yeares agoe." 1 This statement 
implies that these lands had all along been in the possession of the Hungarian 
Prince and his descendants, while the " old wrytts " referred to by Lord 
Strathallan prove the comparatively recent acquisition of the lands of 
Drummond by the first Lord Drummond in 1489. 

If the alleged grants of the other lands to Maurice of Hungary were 
investigated in the same close way that those of Drummond and Kosneath 
have now been examined, it would no doubt be found that such acquisitions 
were equally recent. There is no evidence whatever of such a person as 
Prince Maurice having ever been connected with the lands and barony of 
Drummond, or with any of the other lands said to have been granted to him, 
or, indeed, with any part of Scotland. 

As already noticed, John, first Lord Drummond, performed important 
services to King James the Fourth at the time of his succession to his father, 
King James the Third. After the fatal battle of Sauchieburn, the Earl of 
Lennox attempted to rally the adherents of the late King ; but by an energetic 
night attack Lord Drummond routed the insurgents, not far from the lands 
of Drummond. It was very natural that on his creation as a Peer he should 
wish to have a territorial barony corresponding in name to his dignity. He 
at first received a lease of the lands of Drummond from King James the 
Fourth, and on the expiration of the lease, at the end of five years, he 
obtained a heritable grant of the lands. His family were founding a great 
Highland Clan, and he no doubt wished that the lands which bore the same 
name as himself, and his dignity of Drummond, should be erected into a 
barony in his favour, to give him the position of "The Drummond," or 

1 Drummond History, p. 16. 


" Drunimond of that Ilk," which to a chief of a Highland clan was as honour- 
able as the new dignity of a Lord of Parliament. It was about the same time 
with the acquisition of the lands of Drummond, in the shire of Stirling, that 
he also acquired from his cadet, Maurice Drummond, the lands of Concraig. 
In the year 1491, Lord Drummond received from King James the Fourth a 
licence to build a fortified castle on Concraig. A castle was soon afterwards 
erected, and in honour of his name and peerage he called it Drummond 
Castle. The first Lord Drummond died there in 1519, aged upwards of 
eighty years. The castle still stands, but it is now only partially inhabited. 
A modern building, called also Drummond Castle, and adjoining the original 
castle, has long been the mansion-house of the Drummond family. 

To return to the first authentic persons of the name of Drummond in 
relation to the armorial bearings of the family, there is no proof that Malcolm 
Drummond Beg ever assumed the arms of the Earls of Lennox, as he was 
only an official and not a feudal vassal under them. His descendants, 
however, or persons bearing the same name of Drummond, acquired in 1330, 
the lands of Buchchoppill, or Boquhapple, in Menteith, as is shown by a 
charter by Murdach Earl of Menteith to Gilbert of Drummond. 1 This charter, 
which is granted for homage and service, shows that the Drummonds thus 
were or became feudal vassals of the Earls of Menteith, which adds force to 
the presumption already stated, that having no previous armorial bearings 
of their own, they adopted, according to the usual practice, the arms of the 
earldom of Menteith. This circumstance has hitherto escaped observation by 
the historians of the Drummonds, as much as the other important fact of 
Margaret Drummond having been the Queen of King David Bruce. 

The subject of the armorial bearings of the Drummonds is not here 
discussed for the first time. The late Mr. John Pdddell investigated the 

1 Original at Blair- Drummond ; vol. ii. of this work, p. 227. 


subject very carefully, and his conclusion is thus stated : As to " the 
Hungarian or Atheling origin of the arms of Drummond, I need hardly add 
it is too absurd and fabulous to claim a moment's attention." l 

Although the Drummonds were thus at an early date feudal vassals 
of the Earls of Menteith, their respective positions in the course of time 
became changed. The vassals prospered and flourished, while the overlords, 
by royal jealousies and unjust forfeitures, lost at once both their great influ- 
ence and extensive territories. The Drummonds, by fortunate alliances with 
heiresses, and by two royal marriages of ladies of the house, extended their 
wealth and influence throughout Menteith and Strathern. The descendants 
of the original Earls of Menteith do not now own an acre of the ancient 
earldom, while the Drummonds possess large estates within its territory. 

As showing the grandeur of the Drummonds, Mr. Henry Drummond says 
that they have furnished Dukes of Roxburgh, Perth and Melfort, a Marquis 
of Forth, Earls of Mar, 2 Perth and Ker, Viscounts Strathallan, Barons Drum- 
mond, Inchaffray, Maderty, Cromlix and Stobhall, Knights of the Garter, St. 
Louis, Golden Fleece, and Thistle, Ambassador, Queen of Scotland, Duchesses 
of Albany and Athole, Countesses of Menteith, Montrose, Eglinton, Mar, 
Rothes, Tulibardine, Dunfermline, Roxburgh, Winton, Sutherland, Balcarres, 
Crawford, Arran, Errol, Marischal, Kinnoul, Hyndford, Effingham, Macquary 
in France and Castle Blanche in Spain, Baronesses Fleming, Elphinstone, 
Livingstone, Willoughby, Hervey, Oliphant, Rollo and Kinclaven. 

To that long list of distinguished names the author might have added 
another, Margaret Drummond, sometime Logie, the second Queen of King 
David Bruce. 

1 Riddell's Peerage Law, 1842, p. 1000, note. 

2 This is a mistake. Malcolm Druinmoncl was only Lord of Mar, never Earl. 


From early times and in various ways, the district of Menteith has 
been frequently favoured with the presence of the Scottish sovereigns. King 
Robert the Bruce was at least on three occasions at Inchmahome. After 
the forfeiture of the earldom by King James the First, he and his immediate 
successors on the throne made the castle of Doune one of the royal residences, 
and enjoyed the advantages derived from the acquisition of that portion 
of the earldom which was permanently reserved to the Crown. Queen 
Margaret, the wife of King James the Fourth, was provided to the lordship 
of Menteith as part of her jointure lands. After the death of the King, and 
after her third marriage to Henry Stewart, Lord Methven, the Queen made 
the castle of Doune in Menteith one of her residences. Her son, King James 
the Fifth, during his frequent residences in Stirling Castle, must have made 
several visits to Menteith as the " Goodman of Ballangeich," and one occasion 
is noticed of his surprising his neighbour the " King of Kippen " with a visit 
while at dinner. In Menteith, too, Mary Queen of Scots, when a child of 
four years of age, found safety and repose when these could not be afforded 
by the royal palaces or fortresses. Her son King James the Sixth, at 
Cardross in Menteith, visited John, Earl of Mar, his former fellow-pupil under 
George Buchanan, and King Charles the Second was also a visitor to the lake 
in February 1651, on the 10th of which month he granted, at Portend, a 
warrant in favour of William, first Earl of Airth, for payment of an old debt 
of upwards of £7000, owing by King Charles the First. 1 

During the Commonwealth the officers of Cromwell paid a visit to 
Menteith about the year 1654, which was not so pleasant as those made by 
the sovereigns, as General Monck did much damage in the parish of Aberfoyle 
by burning houses and woods. At a later period Prince Charles Edward, 
when prosecuting his father's pretensions to the throne of his ancestors in the 

1 Vol. ii. of tins work, p. 69. 


year 1745, was in Menteith for some time; and the principal stronghold he 
had in Scotland was Doune Castle, which was captured and held by his 
officers. On the 13th September of that year Charles left Dunblane, and 
crossing the Ford of the Frews on the Forth, proceeded to Leckie House, 
where he slept that night. As the Prince passed within a mile of Stirling 
Castle, cannon shots were fired at him, but he escaped without harm. 

Her Majesty the Queen, in the autumn of the year 1869, sojourned for 
several weeks at Invertrossach, near Loch Katrine, during which time she 
visited the Lake of Menteith. 

The beautiful scenery of this district has had attractions for more than 
one literary celebrity. Sir "Walter Scott's predilection for it has already been 
adverted to, and Eobert Burns, during a tour through his native country in 
1787, visited Ochtertyre, on the river Teith, as the guest of Mr. Eamsay the 
classical scholar, with whom the poet afterwards corresponded. 

Any record of the personages who figured in Menteith would be incomplete 
without some notice of the famous freebooter Eob Eoy Macgregor. In the 
earlier part of his career he appears to have led an honest life and to have had 
friendly relations with the Duke of Montrose, under whom he was a tenant- 
farmer. Up to the year 1712 he acted in the capacity of a dealer in cattle, 
but about that time he fell into legal difficulties with his patron the Duke. 
Driven from his former home and occupation, and declared an outlaw, 
Eob Eoy commenced the course of life which has rendered him famous in 
history. The entire district of Menteith was at his mercy, and the lesser 
proprietors and tenants found themselves obliged to pay Mm an annual 
tribute, in order to protect themselves from his depredations. His principal 
quarrel lay with the Duke of Montrose, whose chamberlains experienced 
the disagreeable consequences of his presence while they were engaged 
collecting the rents on the ducal estate. On one such occasion, indeed, 


Macgregor actually kidnapped a chamberlain with his cash. At other times 
Macgregor set the Duke and the law at emphatic defiance, while the nature 
of the country and the character of Eob rendered it difficult to capture him. 
On several occasions he challenged the Duke of Montrose to settle their 
quarrel by single combat. One such challenge must be well known, as 
it is given by Sir Walter Scott in his Introduction to " Eob Eoy." At 
another time he emitted the following declaration : — 

To all lovers of honour and honesty. 

Honour and conscience urges me to detect the assassins of our countrey and 
countreymen, whose unbounded malice prest me to be the instrument of matchless 
villany, by endeavouring to make me a false evidence against a person of distinction, 
whose greatest crime known to me was that he broke the party I was unfortunately 
of. This proposal was handed to me first by Graham of Killearn, from his master the 
Duke of Montrose, with the valuable offers of life and fortune, etc., which I could 
not entertain but with the utmost horrour. Lord Ormiston, who trysted me to the 
bridge of Cramond, was no less sollicitous on the same subject, which I modestly 
shifted till I gott out of his clutches, fearing his justice would be no check on his 
tyranny. To make up the triumvirat in this bloody conspiracy, his Grace the Duke 
of Atholl resolved to outstrip the other two, if possible, who, having coy-duk'd me into 
his conversation, immediately committed me to prison, which was contrary to the 
parole of honour given me by my Lord Edward in the Duke's name and his own, who 
was privy to all that pass'd betwixt us. The reason why the promise was broke 
to me was, because I boldly refused to bear false witness against the Duke of Argyle. 
It must be owned, if just Providence had not helped me to escape the barbarity of these 
monstrous proposals, my fate had certainly been most deplorable, for I would be 
undobtedly committed to some stinking dungeon, where I must choose either to rot, dye, 
or be damn'd. But since I cannot purchase the sweet offers of life, liberty, and treasure 
at their high price, I advise the triumvirate to find out one of their own kidney, who, 
I 'le engadge, will be a fitt tooll for any cruell or cowardly interprise. To narrate all 

VOL. I. A 


particulars made towards this foull plot, and the persecution I suffered by the Duke of 
Montrose's means, before and after I submitted to the Government, would take up too 
much time. Were the Duke of Montrose and I left alone to debate our own private 
quarrell, which, in my opinion, ought to be done, I would shew the world how little 
he would signify to serve either King or countrey. But I hereby solemnly declare 
what I have said in this is positive truth, and that these were the only persons 
deterr'd me many times since my first submission to throw myself over again into the 
King's mercy, and I can prove most of it by witnesses. 

Eob Roy M c Grigor. 
Bawhidder, June 25th, 1717. 1 

AVith the greater number of his immediate neighbours Eob Eoy appears 
to have been on good terms, or perhaps they considered it prudent to main- 
tain friendly relations with him, notwithstanding his occasional attacks on 
their property. Several of his letters are printed in this work, which show 
his peaceable character before his ejection from his homestead at Craigroyston, 
and a facsimile of one of these is given. Eob Eoy died in December 1734, 
and the inventory of his effects, as given up by his widow, Mary Mac- 
gregor or Campbell, is also printed. 2 

An early and somewhat unique symbol of feudal holding of an estate in 
Menteith merits some notice here. It is a little silver sword, of about two 
inches and a half in length, said to have been given to an ancestor of the 
family of Leny in Menteith by King Culen. It is referred to in a charter 
by King Alexander the Second, granting the lands of Leny to Alan and 
Margaret of Leny in 1227. 3 The sword was preserved at Arnprior in the 
year 1743, but on the forfeiture of the Laird of Arnprior for his share in the 
rising of 1 745, the little sword was delivered to the Commissioners on Forfeited 

1 Original in Charter-chest of the Duke of - Vol. ii. of this work, p. 450. 

Montrose. 3 Hailes's Annals, vol. iii. p. 377. 


Estates. The sword was afterwards restored to the family along with the 
estates. Mr. Grose made a drawing of it in the year 1789, and an engraving 
of it appears in the Archseologia in 1792. 1 Unfortunately the sword has 
since been lost. A translation of the charter by King Alexander the Second 
may be here given : — 

Alexander, by the grace of God, King of Scots, to all good men of his whole land, 
greeting. Know ye that we have given, granted, and by this our charter have con- 
firmed to Alan of Leny and Margaret of Leny, daughter of the late Gillespie of Leny, 
knight, the lands of that ilk, within the sheriffdom of Perth, which formerly pertained 
to the said Blargaret, but which she, led neither by force nor fear, but of her own 
free will, resigned to us at Scone, by staff and baton : To be held and possessed by 
them and their heirs as freely and quietly as the said Margaret held or possessed them 
before this resignation, by virtue of a little sword, which King Culen formerly gave by 
way of symbol to Gillespie Moir her predecessor, for his singular service, rendering thence 
to us and our heirs the service due and wont. In testimony of which thing we have 
caused our great seal to be appended. Witnesses, Gilbert Bishop of Dunkeld, Walter, 
son of Alan, Steward, Justiciar of Scotland, William . . . John of Bail . . . M c Peid 
. . . Schau, fifth October, the thirteenth year of our reign. 

In addition to the Memoirs of the Earls of Menteith, ancient and modern, 
a chapter has been subjoined on Sir John Menteith and his relations with 
the Scottish patriot Sir William Wallace. A subsequent chapter deals with 
the residences of the Earls of Menteith, and the history of their greatest 
castle, that of Doune in Menteith, has been given from the date of its founda- 
tion by Eobert, Duke of Albany, to its acquisition by the ancestors of the 
present Earl of Moray. The Priory of Inchmahome is treated in as exhaustive 
a manner as the materials obtained would permit. From its foundation by 
Walter Comyn till its erection into the lordship of Cardross, its successive 
priors and commendators have been traced, as far as possible, and a life of 

1 Vol. xi. p. 45. 


David Erskine, its last prior and commendator, is given at considerable 
length. David Erskine was also Commendator of the Abbey of Dryburgh, 
and in that character he is best known in history. The Cartulary of 
Dryburgh was printed by the late Mr. Spottiswoode of Spottiswoode, as a 
presentation to the Bannatyne Club, in the year 1847. The present writer 
assisted the late Mr. Cosmo Innes in the editing of that work. The Erskines 
were also closely connected, as commendators and otherwise, with the Abbey 
of Cambuskenneth, the Cartulary of which was also edited by the writer in the 
year 1872, as a presentation by the Marquis of Bute to the Grampian Club. 
These three religious houses, Inchmahome, Dryburgh, and Cambuskenneth, 
with the lands which belonged to them, were erected into the lordship of 
Cardross, in favour of John, second Earl of Mar, and the writer has thus had 
to treat of the ancient history of all the several parts of that lordship. In 
addition to those labours connected with the Erskine family, he has, in another 
capacity relating to the Mar Peerage, had devolved upon him the task of 
making long and laborious investigations for the head of the House of Erskine 
in the prosecution of his successful Claim to the peerage of Mar. 

A " Leabhar dearg " or " Bed Book " was used by many of the Highland 
families in which to record such things as they wished to commemorate. 
According to tradition the original Earls of Menteith possessed such a 
volume, the opening of which was fraught with risk to the inquisitive owner. 
It is to be hoped that the opening of the present " Bed Book of Menteith," 
if it do not impart instruction and interest to the reader, will at least be 
free from the perils of its mythical predecessor. 


Edinburgh, 32 Castle Street, 
December 1880. 


Since the foregoing and the Memoirs of the two Dukes of Albany were 
in type, there have been published two volumes of the Exchequer Eolls of 
Scotland, extending over the period embraced in the lives of those two royal 
Dukes. In his prefaces to these valuable Eolls, the learned editor has done 
much to elucidate many historical, genealogical, and heraldic questions, parti- 
cularly in his chapter on the " Stewart Genealogy." He has, however, failed 
to throw light on several points connected with Menteith, as to which we 
hope he will be pleased to receive a supplement to his information, as the 
result of our more extended investigations. 

Eobert Stewart, the third son of King Eobert the Second, is stated to have 
been " Earl of Menteith by marriage, and of Fife by inheritance from the 
Countess Isobel." 1 The latter part of the statement may admit of argument, 
for while in the indenture between the Countess Isobel and Eobert, Earl of 
Menteith, in 1371, now for the first time correctly printed in the present 
work from the original indenture, 2 in terms of which he obtained the earldom 
of Fife, there is reference to a former entail of the lands, nothing is said of 
the dignity, and the presumption is that he was specially created Earl of Fife 
by his father. But, on the other hand, the statement that Sir Eobert Stewart 
was, or became Earl of Menteith " by marriage " with Lady Margaret Graham, 
the daughter of Sir John Graham, is erroneous, as Sir Eobert nowhere holds 
that dignity until after his father's accession. In 1364, three years after his 
marriage, he is styled in the Exchequer Eolls simply Eobert Stewart of 
Menteith. 3 The records of Parliament show that in 1367 4 and 1368, 5 he was 
present in Parliament as Lord of Menteith only, and it is not until the day 

1 Exchequer Eolls, vol. ii. p. lxxxi. 4 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 

2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 277. vol. i. p. 501. 

3 Exchequer Rolls, vol. ii. p. 166. 5 Ibid. p. 505. 


after his father's coronation that he pays homage as Earl. 1 From his influen- 
tial position it cannot be doubted that if Sir Eobert Stewart had really been 
entitled to the dignity of Earl of Menteith through the courtesy of his wife, 
it would have been accorded to him soon after his marriage. But there is 
evidence that he continued a commoner for several years, and until the 
coronation of his father as King Eobert the Second. From and after that 
ceremony he was Earl of Menteith, and the inference clearly is that he became 
so by special creation on that occasion. 

This fact goes entirely against the theory broached in these prefaces to 
the Exchequer Rolls as to female descent in peerages. The same may be 
said of a former Menteith marriage, on which some light is thrown from a 
statement by the late Mr. Eiddell. Walter Comyn, who married the elder 
co-heiress of Maurice, third Earl of Menteith, in 1231, is after the marriage 
styled Earl of Menteith. It has been doubted whether he did not receive 
the dignity by courtesy of his wife, but Mr. Eiddell quotes an old roll or 
inventory of charters by Alexander u., 2 as containing a charter by that 
monarch " Walteri Cumyng de comitatu de Menteithe," which goes far to 
establish the fact that the dignity was conferred upon him, as upon Sir 
Eobert Stewart, by a special creation. 

The editor of the Exchequer Eolls assumes that the husband of the lady 
Elene of Mar, daughter of Gratney, Earl of Mar, was the famous Sir John 
Menteith, the reputed betrayer of Wallace. In this he follows the late Mr. 
Eiddell, who states that Sir John and the husband of Lady Elene of Mar were 
one and the same person. 3 This view is refuted, however, by the authorities 
quoted both by Mr. Eiddell and the editor of the Exchequer Eolls. Mr. Eiddell 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 545. 

2 Peerage and Consistorial Law-, p. 1050. 

z Tracts. Legal and Historical, 1835, p. 1-49. 


founds on a charter of 1359, preserved in the records of Parliament, 1 granted by 
King David the Second to Sir John Menteith, the son of Lady Elene of Mar, 
reconveying to him the lands of Strathgartney, which had been taken by the 
King from the same Sir John in 1344. These lands are in that charter stated 
to have been granted by King Eobert the Bruce to Sir John Menteith and 
Lady Elene of Mar in free marriage. But a missing charter of King Eobert 
the Bruce, referred to in the Exchequer Rolls 2 as proving the above, though 
the full significance of the entry has been overlooked, designs the grantee, the 
husband of Lady Elene of Mar, as " John Monteith, son to John Monteith." 
There is thus evidence that there were in succession to each other three 
persons who bore the name and designation of Sir John Menteith, and that 
Lady Elene of Mar was the wife of the second Sir John Menteith, who was 
not the famous Sir John, but his son. 

Although in the prefaces to the Exchequer Bolls it is nowhere distinctly 
stated that the reputed betrayer of "Wallace and the husband of Lady Elene 
of Mar were one and the same person, it is affirmed that Joanna of Menteith, 
Countess of Strathern, was the daughter of Sir John Menteith and Lady 
Elene of Mar. 3 That Joanna of Strathern was the daughter of the first 
Sir John Menteith is proved from authentic evidence, 4 and has never been 
disputed, but it is a mistake to say that she was the daughter of Lady Elene 
of Mar. As we have shown, Lady Elene was not the wife of the first Sir 
John Menteith, and even if she had been she could not have been the mother 
of Joanna of Strathern. For if it be the case, as stated in the Exchequer 
Rolls, that Joanna was the wife of Earl Malise of Strathern, the father 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 3 Exchequer Rolls, vol. ii. p. ci, note, 

vol. i. p. 524. 

- Exchequer Rolls, vol. ii. p. lvi ; Robert- 4 Robertson's Index of Missing Charters, 

son's Index, p. 23, No. 6. p. 18, No. 69 ; vol. ii. of this work, p. 230. 


of the Earl Malise whose wife was implicated in the Soulis conspiracy 
in 1320 1 (and this statement is also made by other authorities), then she 
must have been married some time before that event. But from various data 
it may be shown that Lady Elene of Mar, even if married in 1320, could 
not then have had a marriageable daughter. Supposing that Gratney, Earl 
of Mar, married Lady Christian Bruce, the mother of Lady Elene, in 1292, 2 
and allowing for the birth of their son Donald in or about 1293, it will 
be seen that Lady Elene in 1320 must have been at the utmost little 
more than twenty-five years of age. It is probable that she was even 
younger, and also that she was not married until after that date. The lands 
of Strathgartney, as is stated in the charter by King David the Second 
before referred to, were granted to her and her husband in free marriage, 
thus suggesting that these lands were her wedding-gift from her uncle, King 
Kobert the Bruce. But these lands were taken from Sir John Logie only 
about 1320, and it is probable therefore that the marriage of Lady Elene 
of Mar did not take place until that year at least. 

Another Menteith marriage which is mentioned in the preface to the 
last published volume of the Exchequer Bolls may also be here adverted to. 
The editor conjectures that Sir John Moray, the first husband of Lady 
Margaret Graham, styled Countess of Menteith, must have been Sir John 
Moray of Bothwell. 3 This conjecture is well founded, but the evidence which 
completes the proof desiderated has been overlooked. This is furnished 
by a charter of certain lands in the barony of Avach, granted by Muriella, 
widow of Sir William Bose of Kilravock, with consent of her overlord, 
Sir John Moray of Bothwell, whom she also styles " Earl of Menteith 
and Banitarius of Scotland." 4 

1 Exchequer Rolls, vol. ii. p. ci, note. 4 Rose of Kilravock (Spalding Club), 

2 Ibid. vol. iv. p. clxxvi, note. 3 Ibid. p. 116. 


In the same volume, as we have already remarked, much research has 
been brought to bear on the elucidation of the "Stewart genealogy" from 
King Eobert the Second. 1 In one important case, however, the result is 
somewhat misleading. The editor states that a daughter of King Eobert the 
Second, whose name he is unable to give, seems to have married Sir John 
of Keith, eldest son of William of Keith, Marischal. 2 In a subsequent page 
he represents another daughter of the King, Lady Jean, as having married 
John Lyon of Glamis. 3 This marriage took place at first without consent of 
King Eobert the Second, and the editor of the Exchequer Bolls refers to 
and states the terms of a remission in the Glamis Charter-chest, 4 granted 
by the King, with consent of his sons, to his daughter Jean and Sir John 
Lyon for their marriage. But the fact has been entirely overlooked that this 
document proves that the daughter of unknown name, the wife of Sir John 
Keith, and Lady Jean, the wife of Sir John Lyon, were one and the same 
princess. In the remission she is designed Johanna of Keith, being then the 
widow of Sir John Keith, her first husband. The original remission has 
been carefully preserved at Glamis, and by the permission of the Earl of 
Strathmore, who is the descendant and representative of the marriage of the 
Frincess Jean Stewart with his ancestor Sir John Lyon, we are enabled 
to print the document in this work from the original. 

An indenture, which was entered into between Eobert, Duke of Albany, 
and Archibald, fourth Earl of Douglas, on the 20th of June 1409, has been 
printed in the Appendix to the preface of the fourth volume of the 
Exchequer Rolls, 6 accompanied by the statement that it "has hitherto 
escaped notice." 6 We think it right to explain that the bond was first printed 
in the present work from a copy of the original in Her Majesty's General 

1 Vol. iv. p. cliii, et seq. 3 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iv. p. clxiv. 5 Vol. iv. p. ceix. 

2 Ibid. p. clxii. * Ibid. vol. iii. p. lii, note. 6 Ibid. p. lvi, note 1. 

VOL. I. i 


Eegister House, specially made for that purpose, and was actually printed 
as part of this work before it appeared in the Exchequer Eolls. In so far 
as we are concerned, there was no oversight of such an important indenture, 
although the print of it in the Exchequer Eolls, while last made, was 
accidentally first published. 

In the same way the documents relating to the marriage of Janet 
Stewart, eldest daughter of Eobert, Duke of Albany, and David de Loen, 
which are referred to in the Exchequer Eolls, 1 were, along with other relative 
important documents, printed in this work from the originals in the General 
Eegister House long anterior to the publication of the Eolls. 

The letters of King James the First now printed in this work for the first 
time, are referred to in the preface to the Exchequer Eolls 2 as preserved in 
the General Eegister House. But the existence of these letters was not 
known to the editor of the Eolls till after they were brought to light again 
in November last, as explained in the preamble to them in this work. 3 

In the controversy about Macaulay's denunciation of John Graham of 
Claverhouse, the brilliant historian was much taken to task by Professor 
Aytoun and other critics for his mistake in calling him James instead of John 
Graham, thus showing, it was said, ignorance of the very name of the man 
whom he denounced. The editor of the Eolls has fallen into a similar mistake 
as to the name of the author of a well-known law work which he quotes, 
Steuart's answers to "Dirleton's Doubts." The author was the celebrated 
Sir James Steuart of Goodtrees, but the editor calls him Sir John Steuart. 4 
While noticing this slip, occurring amidst much that is accurate, we readily 
pardon it as a specimen of mistakes to which authors and editors are alike 

1 Vol. iv. pp. clxxxiv, elxxxv. 3 Page 283, postea. 

2 Ibid. p. lxxviii. 4 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iv. p. clxxx. 

%%i i&efc Boofc of j^entettl). 



OF these original Earls of Menteith very little can now be traced. No 
charter or instrument of creation of the earldom of Menteith is known 
to exist, and the feudal investitures of the earldom from its commencement, 
and for several centuries thereafter, have long since been dispersed. Menteith 
was one of the provinces into which Scotland was anciently divided, and 
during the Celtic period it was probably governed by Mormaors, like the 
other provinces of Scotland. In the beginning of the twelfth century this 
province was placed under the government of an Earl, and the earldom of 
Menteith is therefore probably as old as any of the other ancient territorial 
dignities, the history of which is lost in antiquity. But though the early 
feudal investitures of the earldom of Menteith have not been preserved, 
there are notices of it in the records of Parliament, the Cartularies of 
the religious houses, and in other authentic documents, which are sufficient 
to show the existence of the dignity in the time of King David the 
First, who reigned from 1124 to 1153, and it is possible that the earldom 
may have existed in the time of his father, King Alexander the First, who 
reigned from 1107 to 1124. At all events there is evidence of the existence 
of an Earl of Menteith in. the reign of King David, as in a Statute, not 
VOL. I. A 


found in the treatise of Ranulph de Glanvil, but given in the Kegiam 
Majestatem, and which is commonly attributed to King David the First, the 
Earl of Menteith is mentioned as having jurisdiction over the districts of 
Kintyre and Cowal, in Argyll. 1 A similar statement occurs in the laws of 
King William the Lion, who reigned from 1165 to 1214. In the third 
chapter of the Assizes of that King, the same Statute, there called the law of 
" Claremathane," is laid down as King David had already established it, and 
in reference to the jurisdiction of the Earl of Menteith, it is appointed that 
if any man is challenged " gif his warrand be wonnande in Kyntyre or in 
Cowalle, in that ilk manner, the Erl of Meneteth sail send his men with hym 
that is callyt to ber witnes to the forsayd assise." 2 

In the Cartulary of Scone the foundation charter by King Alexander the 
First, in or about the year 1114, is witnessed by "Beth Comes;" 3 and in 
another charter, by the same King Alexander to the Church of Scone, granted 
probably soon after the foundation charter, two of the witnesses named in 
the testing-clause are Eeth Earl and Malis Earl. 4 In the Carhilary of 
Dunfermline, the charter of confirmation by King David the First to the 
Church of Dunfermline, granted probably soon after the King's accession in 
1124, contains the names of a number of witnesses, bishops and Earls, including 
Malis Earl, Rothery Earl, and Madeth Earl. 5 In another charter by the same 
King David to the Church of Dunfermline, the witnesses are chiefly bishops 
and Earls, among others Madeth Earl, Malis Earl, and Head Earl. 6 

Sir James Daliymple, in his Collections on Scottish History, refers to the 
witnesses in King David's original charter to Dunfermline, and suggests 
that either Beth or Head was the Earl of Menteith, though he offers no 

1 Acts of the Parliament of Scotland, vol. i. 4 Liber Ecclesie de Scon, p. 4. 

p. 603. 2 Ibid. p. 372. 6 Registrum de Dunfermelyn, p. 4. 

s Liber Ecclesie de Scon, p. 2. ° Ibid. p. 16. 


authority for his conjecture, and neither of these names has been identified 
as that of an Earl of Menteith. 1 But, as before remarked, it is quite 
possible that the earldom existed in the time of Alexander, and it is equally 
possible that Sir James may be right in his conjecture. 

In works on the Peerage of Scotland, Murdach is usually said to have 
been the first Earl of Menteith, and to have lived in the reign of King David 
the First. As an authority for this statement, reference is made to the 
Cartulary of Dunfermline, in which it is alleged that Murdach is mentioned. 
But a careful examination of that Cartulary as printed for the members 
of the Bannatyne Club in the year 1842, has failed to discover the name of 
Earl Murdach either in the text or in the index. As already shown, there 
is an Earl Madeth mentioned, without any territorial designation, as one of 
the witnesses in the confirmation charter, and also in another charter by 
King David the First to the church of Dunfermline ; and the name of 
Madeth may have been misread in the manuscript of the original Cartulary 
as that of Murdach. There was an Earl Murdach of Menteitb in the reign 
of King William the Lion. But he was not the first Earl, as he inherited 
after Gilchrist Earl of Menteith, who was Earl in the time of King William 
the Lion, as well as of his brother King Malcolm the Fourth, and probably 
in that of King David the First. The name of Murdach has thus been 
misplaced in the Peerage books, although there may have been an Earl 
Murdach before Earl Gilchrist, as there certainly was an Earl Murdach after 
him. But of the existence of an Earl Murdach before Earl Gilchrist no 
evidence has been obtained. 

1 Collections, p. 392. 

Circa 1150 — circa 1180. 

This is the first Earl of Menteith whose Christian name has heen ascer- 
tained on strictly legal evidence, but beyond the name, little else is known of 
the history of Earl Gilchrist. As the owner of an extensive earldom, partly 
in the Lowlands of Scotland and partly in the Highlands of Argyll, exercising 
jurisdiction over large districts, Earl Gilchrist must have possessed much 
power and influence. But all trace of his existence has disappeared, save 
a few scanty references to him as a witness to royal or other charters. In 
the charter by King Malcolm the Fourth to the Abbey of Scone, granted in 
the eleventh year of his reign, 1164, " Gilleerist Comite de Meniteith" is 
named as one of the witnesses. 1 That charter provided for the restoration of 
the Abbey of Scone, which had been destroyed by fire, and narrates that the 
Abbey is situated in the chief seat of government — " In principali sede regni 
nostri." The learned editor of the Maitland Club edition of the Cartulary 
states that the precise meaning of that expression is very doubtful. He 
remarks that it is difficult to understand how Scone could be reckoned the 
principal seat of government, except perhaps from some traditional and 
half-fabulous story of the Moothill, joined to the real evidence of the 
existence of the fatal chair of coronation. 2 

Gilchrist Earl of Menteith survived King Malcolm the Fourth for at 
least ten years, as he is named as one of the witnesses in a charter granted 
by King William the Lion to the church of St. Kentigern and Jocelin bishop 
of Glasgow, of the burgh of Glasgow. The charter was granted at Traquair, 

1 Liber Ecclesie de Scon, p. 8. 2 Ibid. p. xiv. 


in Tweeddale, which -was one of the hunting seats of King William. It 
is without a date or regnal year ; but as Bishop Jocelin was consecrated in 
1175, it is ascertained from that fact and the names of the other witnesses, 
that the charter had been made between that year and the year 1178. It 
was under King William that free burghs in Scotland commenced; and the 
grant to the bishop of the burgh of Glasgow secured privileges for the town 
which had then been built around the Cathedral, with the right of holding a 
market on Thursdays, and other rights and customs as in the royal burghs. 1 

Gilchrist is apparently the Earl of Menteith who is referred to without 
Christian name, in the laws of King William the Lion, as having jurisdiction 
over Kintyre and Cowal; and it is possible, if the law of " Claremathane," 
quoted in the Eegiam Majestatem of King David the First, was made in the 
latter years of his reign, that Gilchrist may also have been the Earl of 
Menteith therein referred to as having then similar jurisdiction, though it 
may have been his unknown predecessor in the earldom. 

It is said that Earl Gilchrist had a daughter, Eva, who was the Countess 
of Alwyn, second Earl of Lennox, who flourished between the years 1155- 
1225. Gilchrist was the name of one of their sons. He obtained the lands 
of Arrochar from his brother Maldouen, third Earl of Lennox, and was the 
ancestor of the Highland clan which bears the name of Macfarlane. 2 But 
no direct evidence has been obtained of the marriage of Earl Gilchrist, or of 
any children born to him. He was succeeded in the earldom by Murdach, 
who is the second known Earl. 

1 Registruin Episcopatus Glasguensis, vol. i. p. 36. 

2 The Lennox, by William Fraser, vol. i. p. 207. 


Circa 11 SO— 1213. 

The second Earl of Menteith whose name has been ascertained is 
Murethach or Murdach. No evidence of relationship between him and 
Earl Gilchrist, his immediate predecessor in the earldom, has been discovered. 
But, according to chronology, Murdach probably was the son of Gilchrist, 
and the immediate inheritor of the earldom, although at that early date 
mere possession of the territorial earldom would give right to the dignity. 

Murethach, Earl of Menteith, was one of the witnesses to an agreement 
made in the year 1199 or 1200, between Gilbert, prior, and the canons of St. 
Andrews, and the Culdees of that place, respecting certain teinds, which 
were in dispute between them. The prior and canons thereby granted to 
the Culdees the teinds of their lands of Kingask, Kinnakelle with Fetsporgin 
and Betkennin, Lethin with Kinninis, Kernis with Cambrun, the rest being 
retained in the hands of the canons for marriages, purifications, oblations, 
baptisms, and burials, those of the Culdees being excepted, who might 
bury where they chose. The Culdees were to have all the teinds and 
revenues of Kilglassin, except baptisms and burials, inasmuch as the Culdees 
had given to the canons the lands of Tristirum in perpetuity, freely and 
quietly, as the Culdees themselves had held that town. 1 

From this agreement it appears that Earl Murdach succeeded to the 
earldom between the years 1180 and 1200, towards the end of the reign of 
King William the Lion. He died during the reign of that sovereign, before 
the year 1213. 

1 Registrum Prioratus Sancti Andrew, p. 318. 


!:U3— 1230. 

On the death of Murdach, the second known Earl of Menteith, in or 
shortly before the year 1213, two brothers appeared as competitors for the 
earldom, both bearing the name of Maurice, and distinguished by the 
appellations of senior and junior. It has not been ascertained from any 
of the Menteith Muniments now preserved, or from other records, who was 
the father of these two competing brothers. It is probable, from their 
appearance and claim immediately after the death of Earl Murdach, that 
they were his sons ; that although Maurice senior was in possession of the 
earldom, there may have been a question as to his legitimacy; and that 
Maurice junior, as the legitimate son of Earl Murdach, laid claim to it. 
This litigation, although amicably settled by King William in favour of the 
younger Maurice, was the first of a series of contentions in reference to 
the earldom. 

It is owing to similar strife in the succeeding generation that the history 
of this amicable arrangement between Maurice senior and Maurice junior in 
1213 has been preserved. When Isabella Countess of Menteith, the daughter 
of Earl Maurice junior, was banished to England, she applied to King Henry 
the Third for support in her claim for re-possession of the earldom of 
Menteith. On 20th September 1261, King Henry granted at Windsor an 
inspeximus, by which he certified that he had seen a charter by Alexander, 
son of the King of Scotland, and others, being an amicable convention 
made between Maurice Earl of Menteith and Maurice junior, his brother, 
as to their dispute regarding the earldom of Menteith, which the latter 


claimed as his right and heritage. Earl Maurice thereby resigned the 
earldom in the hands of King William, who gave it to Maurice junior as 
his right. The elder brother was to hold by bailiary of the King for life 
the two towns, namely, Muyline and Eadenoche, and the lands of Turn and 
Cattlyne, Brathuly and Cambuswelhe, which Maurice junior surrendered to 
the King for that purpose, to revert to him again on his brother's death. 
Maurice junior also delivered to his brother, for the marriage of his 
daughters, the lands of Savelime, Mestrym, Kenelton, and Stradlochlem. 
This agreement was made at Edinburgh on the 6th of December 1213, in 
presence of Sir Alexander, son of the King, Gilbert and Malcolm, Earls of 
Strathern and Fife, and many other witnesses. 1 

At the same time King Henry granted another inspeximus, certifying that 
he had seen a charter by William King of Scotland, confirming the amicable 
arrangement made in his full court at Edinburgh between the two brothers 
concerning the earldom of Menteith, which the King thereby granted to 
Maurice junior on the resignation of Maurice senior, dated 7th December 
1213. 2 

According to the arrangement made by King William, Maurice senior 
resigned the title of Earl and the earldom, and held the lands assigned to 
him, in bailiary of the King. He appears to have left no male heirs. Mr. 
Eiddell refers to the existence of a Malcolm Earl of Menteith in 1237, and 
suggests that he might have been the son of Maurice senior. He says, 
" cotemporary with Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith in right of Isabella 
Countess of Menteith, there is Malcolm Earl of Menteith, perhaps the repre- 
sentative of Maurice, senior." This, he remarks, is " very surprising," and an 
additional proof " of the perpetual strife or contention that reigned in the 
succession of this earldom." As evidence he cites a treaty of peace made 
1 Vol. ii. of this work, No. 7, p. 214. * Ibid. No. 8, p. 215. 


between Alexander King of Scotland and Henry King of England at York 
in 1237. 1 But Mr. Eiddell has misread the names of the Scottish Earls who 
were parties to that treaty. 2 The Earl Malcolm referred to in the Foedera 
is Malcolm, Earl of Fife, and not a second Earl of Menteith of the name of 
Malcolm, whose existence nowhere appears. Malcolm, Earl of Fife, is known 
to have been present there, as well as Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith. 
Fife being the senior Earl of Scotland, " Comitem Maucolmum" sufficiently 
identified him. Malcolm, Earl of Fife, was also present at a subsequent 
treaty in 1244. 3 To the same treaty of 1237 another Scottish Earl is a 
subscribing party, " Comite Patricio," evidently Patrick, Earl of Dunbar, 
which shows that no more precise designation was necessary for such a 
well-known Earl as Malcolm, Earl of Fife, whose predecessors as well as 
himself were frequently styled simply Earl, as Earl Duncan, etc. 

In terms of the amicable arrangement between the two brothers, Maurice 
junior inherited the earldom, and appears as Earl of Menteith in several 
charters. In a charter of confirmation by King William the Lion to the 
church of Dunfermline of the church of Mouline, he was a witness under 
the name and designation of " Comite Mauri cio de Meneteth." 4 

Earl Maurice was one of the seven Earls of Scotland present at the 
enthronement of King Alexander the Second at Scone. Previous to the death 
of King William the Lion, his son had been accepted by the bishops and 
nobles as their future King, and early in the morning of the 5th of December 
1214, the day after the death of King William, the Earls of Fife, Strathern, 
Athole, Angus, Menteith, Buchan, and Lothian (Gospatric of Dunbar), with 
William Malvoisin, Bishop of St. Andrews, took Alexander, then a youth of 

1 Remarks on Scotch Peerage Law, by Mr. John Riddell, 1833, p. 151. 

2 Rymer's Foadera, vol. i. p. 234. 3 Hid. p. 257. 
4 Registrum de Dunfermelyn, p. 34. 

VOL. I. B 


sixteen and a half years, and, carrying him to Scone, elevated him to be 
King, in the presence of God and men, with more grandeur and glory than 
any former monarch, and amid the general acclamations of those assembled. 
On the fourth day thereafter, the young King with his Court met the body 
of his father at Perth, and accompanied it to the monastery of Arbroath, 
before the high altar of which it was buried on the 10th of December. 1 

In a charter by King Alexander the Second to the Abbey of Paisley, Earl 
Maurice is a witness. 2 He held the office of Sheriff of Stirling. 3 

The name of the Countess of Earl Maurice has not been ascertained, nor 
the time of his death, which must have taken place before the year 1231, 
when his son-in-law, Walter Comyn, had the title of Earl of Menteith. From 
the year 1213 Earl Maurice possessed the earldom uninterruptedly for about 
seventeen years, supposing his death to have taken place in the year 1230. 
He had no sons, as his two daughters, the Ladies Isabella and Mary, and 
their respective husbands, successively inherited the territorial earldom and 
dignities of Menteith. These ladies and their husbands, Walter Comyn and 
Walter Stewart, who were both distinguished in the history of Scotland, may 
be said to have commenced a series of romances connected with their claims 
to the earldom of Menteith. Their history has not hitherto been fully 
unfolded, and it has required a vast amount of investigation and research to 
disentangle the subject from the involved state in which it had been placed 
by peerage writers, who, in the latest editions of their works, were unable to 
state even the Christian names of these great heiresses. 

1 Fordun, ed. 1871, vol. i. pp. 280, 281. to the Abbey of Cambuskenneth, dated at 

' Registrum de Passelet, p. 214. Clackmannan, 27th March 1226. — [Cartulary 

3 Charter by King Alexander the Second of Cambuskenneth, p. 176.] 





Walter Comyn, Lord of Badenoch, was one of the most distinguished 
Earls who ever held the title of Menteith, even more so than his own 
brother-in-law, Walter Stewart, and scarcely less illustrious than the two 
royal Dukes of Albany, Robert and Murdach, who afterwards successively 
inherited that title. Walter Comyn was the second son, by his first marriage, 
of William Comyn, who, on his second marriage with the Countess of Buchan, 
became or was created Earl of Buchan. 

The great house of Comyn was descended from Richard, the surviving 
nephew of William Comyn, who is known as the warlike Chancellor of King 
David the First. The Comyns came to Scotland in the twelfth century from 
Northumberland, and rose rapidly to be the leading family in the country. 
During the time of King Alexander the Third there were three Earls of 
the name of Comyn in Scotland, the Earl of Buchan, the Earl of Menteith, 
and the Earl of Athole, and there was also one great feudal baron, Comyn 
Lord of Strathbogie, with thirty knights, all possessing lands. Walter, Earl 
of Menteith, was also Lord of Badenoch and Lochaber, and other extensive 
districts in the Highlands, and he made treaties with princes as a prince 
himself. One such compact with Llewellyn of Wales is preserved in Eymer's 
Fcedera, 1 and is referred to afterwards. The Comyns originally came from 
France with William the Conqueror in 1066, by whom Robert de Comyn was 
created Earl of Northumberland. The younger son of Robert de Comyn was 
William, who became Chancellor of King David the First, and William's grand- 

1 Eymer's Foedera, vol. i. p. 370. 


nephew, Richard, commonly called his nephew, was the father of William Earl 
of Buchan, who again was the father of the subject of this memoir. 

Wyntoun's account of the origin of the name is more amusing than 
authentic. He relates that three brothers came from Normandy with King 
Richard the First of England, the youngest of whom, named William, made 
his way into Scotland and commended himself to King William the Lion 
by the comeliness of his person. The King of Scotland made him keeper 
of his chamber door. Wyntoun then states — 

Na langage cowth he spek clerly, 
Bot his awyn langage of Normawndy ; 
Nevyrtheles yhit quhen he 
Oppynyd the dure til mak entre, 
Cwm in, cwm in, he wald ay, 
As he herd othir abowt hym, say, 
Be that oys than othir men 
Willame Cwm-in cald hym then. 1 

After relating the marriage of this William Cumin, he refers to the birth 
and greatness of Walter, whom he makes grandson to this first Comyn : — 

This Willame Cwmyn eftyr that, 
A swne cald Wilyame Cumyn gat. 
That Willame Cwmyn gat swnnys twa ; 
Rychard and Waltyre cald war thd. 
Bathe thai twa ware mychty men ; 
Erie of Monteth wes Waltyr then. 
This Waltyr wes mychty eftyr that, 
And gret landys be conqwest gat. 2 

Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith, at the time of his death in 1258, was 
reputed to be of great age. Previously to his marriage with Isabella 
Countess of Menteith, which took place in the end of the year 1230 or 
1 Wyntoun's Cronykil, vol. ii. pp. 53, 54. 2 Ibid. p. 54. 



beginning of the year 1231, he was much about the Court both of King 
William the Lion and King Alexander the Second. This is proved by his 
name being mentioned as a witness in many of the royal charters, and 
by his presence at many important State arrangements. 

Walter Comyn may have been one of the hostages for the payment of the 
15,000 marks which King William the Lion agreed to pay to King John 
of England in 1209, when the latter had massed his troops on the Scottish 
border. King William had prepared for the struggle, but thought it better 
to make a compromise than to risk the fortunes of war, and so consented, 
amongst other conditions, to the payment of this sum for the King of Eng- 
land's goodwill, and the confirmation of the fiefs and privileges which he held 
from King John. The money was to be paid within two years, but when 
the half of the amount was paid in the following year, King John remitted 
the other half, and the hostages would consequently be released at that time. 
One of these hostages was a son of William Comyn. 1 If it was his second son 
Walter, after his return he frequently attended at Court, and witnessed several 
charters by King William between the years 1211 and 1214. His name 
appears in two charters by that King to the Monastery of Arbroath, the one 
granted at Selkirk on 25th February, 2 and the other granted at Traquair 
on the 19th of January. 3 During the reign of King Alexander the Second 
he attended the Court of that sovereign, and witnessed many charters 
by him. 

In the year 1220 he accompanied King Alexander to York, where the 
King of Scotland met King Henry the Third of England, and arrangements 
were made respecting the marriage of King Alexander. On the 15th of 
June in that year both sovereigns exchanged mutual assurances, which were 

1 Rotuli Literarum Clausarum, vol. i. p. 137. 

2 Registrum Vetus de Aberbrothoe, p. 8. 

Ibid. p. 21. 


witnessed and sworn to by their respective nobles and barons. King Henry 
promised that he would give either his elder sister Joanna, or failing her, 
his younger sister Isabella, to Alexander King of Scots in marriage, and also 
that he would procure the honourable marriage of King Alexander's two 
sisters, the Princesses Margaret and Isabella, in England within the space of 
a year, or restore them to Scotland safely within a month after the lapse of 
that term. On the other hand, King Alexander solemnly swore to marry 
one or other of the sisters of King Henry, and amongst the names of the 
nobles and barons who pledged themselves by oath to observe the engage- 
ments of their King we find that of Walter Comyn. 1 The sequel shows that 
King Alexander married the elder sister of the English King. 2 In 1223 
Walter Comyn was with King Alexander at Selkirk, and witnessed the con- 
firmation of an agreement between the Abbeys of Holyrood and Newbattle 
on the 29th of May. 3 Later on in the same year, he witnessed three charters 
\>y the King to the Monastery of Arbroath, granted at Forfar in October 
and December; 4 and in September of the following year, 1224, he, along 
with Maurice Earl of Menteith, his future father-in-law, witnessed a royal 
confirmation of a gift by Maldouen Earl of Lennox to the Abbey of Paisley 
of a yair on the river Leven. 5 

An interesting fact, hitherto unrecognised, appears in a deed executed in 
1225. In an agreement between Andrew, Bishop of Moray, and Eobert Hod 
and Matilda his spouse, respecting the lands of Lamanbrid, witnessed by 
some of the King's Council among others, Walter Comyn is described as 
" Clerico domini Eegis," 6 which was then the designation of the Lord Clerk 
Eegister. The published list of the holders of this ancient office is defective 

1 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. i. p. 161. 4 Registrum de Aberbrothoc, pp. 76, 77, 81. 

2 Ibid. p. 1 65. 5 Eegistrum Monasterii de Passelet, p. 214. 

3 Registrum de Neubotle, p. 4S 6 Registrum Moraviense, p. 461. 


for this early period ; but this fact will supply one of the blanks due to the 
great scarcity of the authentic information necessary for the history of the 
times of the early Scottish Kings. 

On 13th" August 1225, Walter Comyn was with King Alexander the 
Second at Cluny, and witnessed a charter of confirmation to the church of 
Inchaffray of the teinds of Auchterarder -, 1 and on 12th February 1226 he 
witnessed a confirmation by the King at Scone to the church of Kinloss, 2 and 
again at the same place, in September 1227, a confirmation to the Abbey of 
Dunfermline. 3 In April 1228 he witnessed the confirmation by the King at 
Musselburgh of two charters by the Earls of Lennox to Eobert Hertford, 4 and 
on the 8th of July the same year, attested the confirmation by the King at 
Aberdeen of a treaty between the Abbey of Holyrood and Engeramus de 
Baliol. 5 Alexander was at Kinross on the 25th of May 1229, as he there 
confirmed a gift by Malcolm Earl of Fife to the church of Scone of the 
church of Eedgorton, and to this confirmation Walter Comyn was a witness, 6 
and also to another confirmation granted by the King at Belford to the Abbey 
of Melrose, on the 1 8th March of the same year. 7 

An unsuccessful rising in 1228 on the part of Gillescop M°William, then 
Baron of Badenoch, led to his own destruction and that of his two sons, 
and the lands of Badenoch, which formed part of the estates of the rebel, 
were forfeited to the Crown. King Alexander had himself proceeded against 
his rebellious subject, but had failed to reduce him to allegiance. In the 
following year, 1229, William Comyn, Earl of Buchan and Great Justiciar 
of Scotland, with the aid of his numerous vassals, dispersed the insurgents, 

1 Liber Insule Missarum, p. 12. s Munimenta Sancte Crucis, p. 60. 

2 Registrum Moraviense, p. 459. 

„ _ . , _ , , , „ Liber Eeclesie de Scone, p. 45. 

s Registrum de Duniernielyn, p. 43. 

4 Registrum Monasterii de Passelet, pp. 214, 215. " Liber de Melros, vol. i. p. 1S4. 


and sent the heads of their leader and his two sons to the King. It seems 
very probable that the Earl of Buchan obtained at this time the lands of 
Badenoch for his younger son Walter, who is mentioned in the Cartulary of 
Moray as Lord of Badenoch. This fact seems to have been overlooked by 
historians, who have hitherto considered John Corny n, the grand-nephew 
of Walter, as the first Lord of Badenoch. This, however, is a mistake, as 
appears from several deeds executed by Walter Comyn as Lord of Badenoch. 
In one agreement between him and Andrew, Bishop of Moray, which must have 
been arranged before his marriage, as in the deed he is simply styled Sir Walter 
Comyn, he grants several portions of the territory of Badenoch to the bishop. 1 
In another arrangement made betwixt him and the same bishop in the year 
1234, shortly after his marriage, he is styled Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith. 2 
Shortly after his acquisition of the lordship of Badenoch in 1229 or 
1230, Walter Comyn married the Lady Isabella, elder daughter and heiress 
of Maurice, third Earl of Menteith. As formerly remarked, the marriage 
was celebrated in the end of the year 1230 or beginning of 1231. He 
was witness to a charter by King Alexander the Second at Kincardine, 
confirming a gift by Maldouen Earl of Lennox to the Church of St. Thomas 
the Martyr at Arbroath, of four oxen yearly for the welfare of the soul of 
the late King William, etc., on the 9th of January 1231, in which he is 
designated simply Walter Comyn. 3 On the 3d of February in the same 
year, he witnessed a gift by the King at Clackmannan of the lands of 
Cultrach and Balmerino to the Abbey of Balmerino, in which he is styled 
Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith. 4 The charter and gift now quoted, the 
one without the title of Earl and the other with it, show that his marriage 
had been celebrated in the course of the interval of three weeks which 

1 Registrum Moraviense, p. 83. 3 Registrum Vetus de Aberbrothoc, p. 95. 

2 Ibid. p. 98. 4 Liber de Balmerinach, p. 4. 



elapsed between the dates of these two deeds. No written instrument being 
now extant showing the investiture of Walter Comyn in the dignity of Earl 
of Menteith, it is impossible to say, with anything like certainty, if he 
enjoyed the title by courtesy through his wife, or by being created Earl 
of Menteith in his own right. 

After his marriage he witnessed many charters by the King, and from 
the date of that event is almost invariably described as Earl of Menteith. 
His importance was greatly increased by his marriage, and the acquisition 
of the earldom of Menteith, with his other possessions, rendered him one 
of the most powerful of the Scottish nobles. He not unfrequently takes 
the seniority among the attesting witnesses to royal confirmations and 
grants. King Alexander the Second evidently esteemed him as a wise and 
prudent counsellor, and kept him much at his Court. In 1233 he was with 
the King at Traquair, and attested a confirmation of lands by the King to 
the Abbey of Melrose. 1 On the 11th of June 1234 he was at Scone, 2 on 
the 13th of October 1235 at Cadzow, whence the King addressed a letter to 
the Bishop of Glasgow, 3 and on the 25th December of the same year he was 
at St. Andrews, when the King granted a charter of the lands of Tarvays to 
the Abbey of Balmerino.* In the following year, 1236, he witnessed a 
charter by the King to Eichard of Moray, granted on the 23d of July at 
Torres; 5 and on the 27th December, at Stirling, he witnessed a gift by the 
King to the Abbey of Dunfermline of the lands of Dolar, 6 which was 
followed on 20th October 1237 by a grant of the forest of Dolar 7 when the 
King was at Scone, also attended by the Earl of Menteith. A short time 

1 Liber de Melros, vol. i. p. 222. 

2 Liber Ecclesie de Scon, p. 41. 

3 Registrum Episeopatus Glasguensis, p. 

VOL. I. 

4 Liber de Baltnerinoeh, p. 61. 

5 Eegistrum Moravienae, p. 464. 

Registrum de Dunfermelyn, p. 43. 
7 Ibid. p. 43. 



afterwards he was at Edinburgh Castle with the King, who, while there, 
granted four merks out of his lordship of Cadzow for the support of a deacon 
and subdeacon of Glasgow. The grant is dated 8th February 1237, and is 
attested by Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith. 1 

At this period Scotland was divided into two great parties, the National 
or Patriotic party, who made it their chief aim to preserve the independence 
of Scotland, and a party who were supposed to further the interests of the 
English Kings. Walter Comyn steadily allied himself with the Patriotic 
party, and took a leading part in all the important transactions of the 

After the death of his father, the Earl of Buchan, in 1233, the Earl of 
Menteith rapidly rose to be the most influential nobleman in Scotland. At 
this time he is described by Fordun as a man prudent in counsel, valiant in 
battle, whose foresight had been attained by long experience. He was the 
head of a large and powerful family, the chief of numerous vassals, 
possessed of high talents, and of a strong love of his country, which enabled 
him to direct the great power thus lying in his hands for what he considered 
the interest of Scotland. At a time when the Kings of England were 
endeavouring to reduce Scotland to a state of vassalage to the English crown, 
the patriotism of the Earl of Menteith was devoted to the preservation of 
the liberties of his country. Neither his counsel nor his presence were 
withheld when required in her service. Accordingly we find him at York 
in September 1237, when a treaty of peace was entered into between the 
Scottish and English Kings, over the long disputed claims of both to the 
northern provinces of England, and he undertook, along with other Scottish 
nobles, to maintain that treaty. 2 

Not long afterwards a private family feud nearly involved the two 

1 Eegistrum Episcopatus Glasguensis, p. 144. 2 Eymer's Foedera, vol. i. p. 234. 


countries in war, though but for the part taken in it by the Earl of Menteith 
it need not have been noticed here. The circumstances, however, show the 
vigilance which, as chief of the National party, he displayed to protect and 
avenge his friends. At a tournament held near Haddington in 1241, Sir 
Walter Bisset, a knight of Norman descent, and brother of William, Lord of 
Aboyne, was overthrown by Patrick of Galloway, Earl of Athole. This defeat 
seems to have rankled in Bisset's breast, and when his youthful antagonist, 
with two attendants, was burnt to death in the house in which he slept at 
Haddington on the night after the tournament, he was suspected to have 
been the murderer. The sad fate of this young and promising nobleman, who 
is said to have been warned of his danger by the wife of his enemy, roused 
the fury of his party. They denounced the Bissets, and openly charged 
William, Lord of Aboyne, with abetting the bloody doings of bis kinsman. 
In vain Bisset protested his innocence. The Queen even pleaded for him, 
and offered to prove that he was in attendance on her at Forfar on the night 
of the murder, and William, Lord of Aboyne, bestirred himself to get the actual 
murderers excommunicated. " His cognisances had been recognised in the 
town of Haddington ; his retainers had been seen during the night of the 
fire ; and these were sufficient proofs of guilt in the eyes of Walter the Earl 
of Menteith, and John the Bed Comyn, his nephew, to justify their harrying 
the lands of the obnoxious baron, who sought shelter from their attacks 
within the walls of his castle of Aboyne." 1 The Bissets were banished from 
the country, and with difficulty escaped with their lives. Sir Walter Bisset 
went to England, and incited Henry the Third to war with Scotland, on the 
pretext that Alexander had wrongfully deprived him of his lands without his 
consent as the Lord Paramount of Scotland. So effectually did he plead his 
cause that war was decided on by Henry. In 1244 both Kings prepared 
1 Robertson's Early Kings, vol. ii. p. 35- 


their armies. Alexander marched into Northumberland, and Henry concen- 
trated his forces at Newcastle. But before any engagement took place the 
English barons persuaded the King to make peace. An agreement was 
entered into between the two Kings on the 14th August 1244, which was 
signed by them and several of the English and Scottish nobles and barons, 
among whom Walter Comyn appears as one of those who guaranteed this 
treaty. 1 

Henry had urged against Alexander, amongst his reasons for the war, 
that Walter Comyn and other Scottish lords had built two castles in 
Liddesdale and Galloway, to the prejudice of the rights of the English Crown, 
and to the detriment of the English lieges. One of these two castles was the 
great stronghold of Hermitage in Liddesdale, which was erected by the Earl 
of Menteith in or about the year 1244. It became the property of the family, 
of Soulis, who at that time shared the fortunes of the National party. Upon 
their forfeiture it passed into the hands of the Douglases, and Archibald, 
sixth Earl of Angus, exchanged Hermitage Castle with Hepburn Earl of 
Bothwell for the castle and lordship of Bothwell. It was to the Castle of 
Hermitage that Queen Mary rode from Jedburgh to inquire for her favourite 
Bothwell, when wounded by a mosstrooper, by which journey she brought 
upon herself a severe fever. Francis Stewart, Earl of Bothwell, the nephew 
of James Earl of Bothwell, had possession of the Castle of Hermitage for 
some time, until upon his forfeiture it fell to the first Earl of Buccleuch. 

The other castle in Galloway which Walter Comyn was blamed for 
building, was probably Dalswinton, long known as Comyn's Castle, from 
beino- one of the chief residences of that family. Sir John Comyn, Lord of 
Galloway, commonly known as the Bed Comyn, dwelt here during the 
eventful period of the wars of succession which arose on the death of 

1 Rymer's Fuedera, vol. i. p. 257. 


Alexander the Third, and he took an active and important part in the affairs 
of the kingdom. After Wallace resigned the office of Governor of Scotland, 
Comyn was chosen one of the Eegents, and on account of the power of the 
family which he represented, was looked up to as the head of the Begency. 
Sir John Comyn was the grandnephew of Walter, Earl of Menteith, being 
the son of John Comyn, known as the Black Comyn, and grandson of Sir 
John Comyn, younger brother of Walter, Earl of Menteith. His father 
having married Marjorie, the sister of John Baliol, Sir John Comyn was 
Baliol's nephew, and thus became a competitor for the Scottish crown with 
Bobert Bruce after the degradation of Baliol. Bruce had also been elected 
one of the Scottish Eegents, and in order to free their country from the 
claims of King Edward the First, Comyn and Bruce entered into a secret 
agreement, whereby Comyn waived his pretensions to the crown, and agreed 
to assist Bruce. On this understanding Bruce repaired to the Court of the 
English King, but while there was betrayed by Comyn to Edward, and 
compelled to escape for his life. On returning to Scotland, Bobert Bruce 
learned the treachery of his co-regent, and having met him in Dumfries, he 
remonstrated with him on his treasonable conduct. Their meeting took place 
within the precincts of the Franciscan Church of the Minorites in Dumfries. 
But few words passed between the disputants. Comyn denied the charge 
made against him in such terms as to irritate his opponent, and the next 
instant Bruce's dagger had pierced his heart. By that deed Bruce dealt the 
death-blow to the power of the Comyns in Scotland. They sank in influ- 
ence as Bruce gained in strength, and they never afterwards regained the 
prestige which had been brought to the family by the wisdom and prowess 
of the great Earl of Menteith. 

The Castle of Dalswinton is said to have been burned by Bruce after the 
murder of John Comyn at Dumfries in 1305, but it was frequently afterwards 


used as a stronghold by both Scottish and English troops, as it alternately fell 
into the hands of either. In 1309 it was in the hands of the English, 1 and 
in 1313 again in those of the Scots. 2 It was a garrison of the English in 
1348, and King Edward the Third gave instructions to Adomar of Athol 
[Atheles], his Sheriff of Dumfries at the time, to repair the castle. 3 It was 
stormed by Eoger of Kirkpatrick in 1356, 4 and was one of the four castles 
which David the Second was suspected of having in a private treaty with 
Edward the Third engaged to demolish on his restoration to his throne in 
1357. 5 Fordun relates that thirteen castles were destroyed, and that they 
for the most part remained unbuilt even in the reign of King Eobert the 
Second. 6 In 1792 Allan Cunningham saw part of the walls of the old 
castle of Dalswinton still standing ; in some places he says they were twelve, 
and in one place fourteen feet thick, and pieces of burnt wood still clinging 
to them. 7 

In 1246 the Earl of Menteith was with the King at Selkirk, and wit- 
nessed a charter of confirmation, dated the 26th May, by Alexander to the 
doorkeeper of Melrose Abbey of a half camcate of land in Edinham. s 
On the 1 2th of November of the same 3 r ear, Alexander, while at Edinburgh, 
confirmed a charter by Roger de Quincey to the Abbey of Scone of lands 
in Perth ; and the name of Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith, being in the 
charter as a witness, shows that he was present with the King on that 
occasion. 9 In the following November King Alexander was at Holyrood, 
and confirmed a gift of pasture by the Earl of Dunbar to the Abbey of 
Melrose, to which the Earl of Menteith is also a witness. 10 

1 Eotuli Scotise, vol. i. p. SO. 6 Fordun, lib. xiv. cap. 18. 

2 Fordun, lib. xiii. cap. 19. 7 New Statistical Account, vol. iv. p. 59. 

3 Kotuli Scotise, vol. i. p. 713. s Liber de Meh-os, vol. i. p. 216. 

4 Fordun, lib. xiv. cap. 15. 8 Liber Ecclesie de Scon, p. 51. 
6 Ibid. cap. 18. 10 Liber de Melros, vol. i. p. 205. 



The events which followed on the death of King Alexander the Second 
in 1249, and the accession of his young son Alexander the Third to the 
throne, show that Walter Comyn was, as the old historian says, the most able, 
wise, and powerful nobleman of his time. Alexander the Third was only 
in his eighth year when his father died, and within five days after that event 
he went to Scone with the Estates of the realm to be crowned. Before the 
proceedings commenced, objections were made and doubts expressed, chiefly 
by the party favourable to the King of England, as to whether the ceremony 
ought to be performed. The day was said to be inauspicious ; but Fordun 
states this was said, not because the day was inauspicious [asgyptiacus], but 
because Alan Durward desired, with his own hand, to invest the King with 
the knightly sword. It was urged as unprecedented and premature to crown 
the King before he became a knight. These objections are alleged to have 
been made by those favourable to the English King. But Walter Comyn, 
Earl of Menteith, with an honourable anxiety to watch over the interests of 
Ms deceased master's child, warmly expostulated against the projected 
postponement. 1 He remembered the late protest of the Archbishop of York, 
and was aware that the King of England was intriguing at Borne to 
obstruct the coronation. 2 Menteith is reported by Fordun to have replied 
to the arguments of the objectors in the following strain : — That he had seen 
a king consecrated who was not yet a knight, and had many a time heard 
of kings being consecrated who had not previously been knighted ; further, 
that a country without a king was, beyond doubt, like a ship amid the 
waves of the sea without rower or steersman. He had always loved King- 
Alexander of pious memory, now deceased, and this boy also for his father's 
sake. So he moved that this boy be raised to the throne as quickly 
as possible, seeing it is always hurtful to put off what may be done at 
1 Robertson's Early Kings, vol. ii. p. 53. "- Chalmers's Caledonia, vol. i. p. 639. 


once. 1 By this speech Walter Comyn overcame the scruples of a number of 
the opposing nobles, and so far silenced the objections of the rest that the 
Bishops of St. Andrews and Dunkeld, and the Abbot of Scone, as well as 
the nobles and the whole clergy and people, with one voice gave their 
consent to the coronation. David of Bernham, Bishop of St. Andrews, 
remarked that William Rufus had been knighted by Lanfrane, Archbishop 
of Canterbury, and it was now arranged that the Bishop should both gird 
the sword of state upon the youthful monarch and crown him, which was 
done accordingly. 

It was no mere factious motive which impelled the Earl of Menteith to 
this step. He was justly afraid of the undue exercise of English influence, 
and that Henry would eagerly seize a favourable opportunity to advance 
his own pretensions to the Scottish crown. As it was, the English King- 
endeavoured to get the Pope to annul the coronation of King Alexander 
the Third, on the pretence that he was his feudal superior, but without 
effect. In addition to thus securing his country from the attempts of foreign 
kingcraft, the Earl of Menteith also maintained its internal peace. By 
his prompt and energetic counsel he united the divided nobles, and as 
Chalmers remarks, " The bold baron of Menteith deserves lasting praise 
for having thus exploded a scruple which might have involved an irascible 
nation in civil war." 2 

Frustrated in his plans by the sagacity of Menteith, Henry yet sought 
in another way to obtain an interest in the management of the affairs of 
Scotland. Soon after the inauguration of King Alexander the Third, he 
required the fulfilment of one of the conditions of the Treaty of Newcastle, 
by which Alexander was contracted in marriage to the Princess Margaret, 
Henry's eldest daughter. The Scottish nobles admitted the justice of his 

1 Fordun, edition 1872, vol. ii. p. 289. 2 Chalmers's Caledonia, vol. i. p. 639. 


claim, and the marriage was arranged to take place at York, the northern 

capital of England, on the 25th of December 1251. On that day Alexander 

was girded with the belt of knighthood by his destined father-in-law, and on 

the following day he was married to the Princess Margaret of England, in the 

midst of great magnificence and splendour. Alexander afterwards performed 

the usual homage for the fiefs which he held from the English crown, and 

thereupon Henry pressed his claims to receive homage for the kingdom of 

Scotland. With a spirit and prudence far beyond his years, Alexander 

replied that he had come at the request of the English King for a 

peaceful and an honourable purpose, to celebrate a marriage, and not to 

give an answer to a question of such importance, about which he had 

not even had time to consult his Council. 1 

The Earl of Menteith was, of course, present with the Scottish Court at 

York, and before the conclusion of the festivities became one of the King 

of Scotland's first councillors. This was brought about in the following way. 

Alan Durward, who had been foremost in opposing the coronation of 

Alexander at Scone, was accused by the Earls of Menteith and Mar of a 

design against the Scottish crown. Durward held the office of High 

Justiciar, and in that capacity was the chief councillor of the King. His 

wife was a natural sister of King Alexander the Third, and the two Earls 

accused him of having petitioned the Pope for her legitimation, by which, 

if he had been successful, and the King had died without heirs, his children 

would have succeeded to the throne. The Scottish Chancellor, Robert, Abbot 

of Dunfermline, had aided Durward's attempts, and on the conspiracy being 

denounced both fled from York. Upon this, with Henry's assistance, new 

guardians were appointed for Alexander, at the head of whom were the 

Earls of Menteith and Mar. 

1 Robertson's Early Kings, vol. ii. p. 59. 
VOL. I. D 


Menteith was now at the zenith of his power. He was the chief of his 
party, of which two barons, Eobert de Eos and John de Baliol, had the name 
of Eegents. Fordun states that at this time the King's councillors were 
but so many kings, and complains much of the oppressions practised by 
them upon the people. They are said to have kept Alexander and his Queen 
in Edinburgh Castle, of which usage the latter complained to her father, 
Henry King of England. She described her place of residence as " a dismal 
and solitary fortress, exposed to the unhealthy air from off the sea ;" that 
she was forbidden to change her residence, was deprived of her proper 
attendants, and even denied the society of her own husband. 1 These 
grievances were probably exaggerated by the royal lady, as she may have 
become weary of the constraint which the Eegents thought it necessary 
to use lest the opposite party, which was also very powerful, should obtain 
possession of their charges. 

From authentic records, however, we learn that the young King was 
not so straitly kept in one place as the information supplied to the English 
King would lead us to infer. Owing to Alexander's youth, the welfare of 
the kingdom required that his guardians should jealously watch that no 
undue advantage should be taken of his inexperience. He was at Linlithgow 
on the 21st of April 1252, and issued a mandate to his sheriffs and bailies, 
which was witnessed by the Earl of Menteith, William Earl of Mar, chamber- 
lain, and Alexander Stewart. 2 Again, on the 8th of June, the same year, 
he was at Newbattle, and confirmed a grant to the Abbey of Melrose of the 
meadow of Farningdun, to which the Earl of Menteith is a witness. 3 On the 
17th of September in the following year he was at Stirling with his Council; 
and in their presence, Emma, daughter and heiress of the late Gilbert of 

1 Robertson's Early Kings, vol. ii. p. 62. 2 Fragraeuta Sooto-Monastica, p. xlii. 

3 Liber de Melros, vol. i. p. 300. 


Smythetun, resigned and restored the lands of Smythetun to the Abbey of 
Dunfermline, upon which the Council drew up a formal consent and 
testimony, and the Earl of Menteith ranks first among the nobles. 1 The 
young King appears next at St. Andrews, where he confirms a charter by 
Malcolm Earl of Fife to David of Graham, on the 27th of December 1253, 
to which deed Menteith is also a witness ; 2 and on the 4th of February 
following, at Edinburgh Castle, Alexander granted to the Abbey of Dun- 
fermline an immunity from all their debts, etc., also witnessed by Walter 
Comyn, Earl of Menteitli. 3 

King Henry, however, sympathised with the complaints of his daughter, 
the young Queen of Scotland, as to the manner in which it was alleged she 
was treated. He instituted inquiries into the matter, and Durward, who had 
accompanied the English King to France, and by his great military skill 
ingratiated himself into Henry's favour, eagerly seized the opportunity thus 
afforded of procuring the downfall of the Comyns. In 1255 Durward 
returned to Scotland, and laid his plans so carefully that by a clever 
stratagem he succeeded in obtaining possession of Edinburgh Castle, and 
with it the persons of the youthful King and Queen. The Comyns, thus 
taken unawares, strove to retrieve this disaster, but it was too late. The 
stronghold was in the possession of their foes, and King Henry was 
approaching the Borders with his army. Menteith was obliged to submit to 
overwhelming odds. For greater security Durward's party removed the King 
and Queen to Eoxburgh Castle, where they met the English King, through 
whose influence the former Regents and Councillors were supplanted by 
others more favourable to the English supremacy. Tytler says that " Henry 
assumed to himself the title of ' principal counsellor to the illustrious King 

1 Registrum de Dunfermelyn, pp. 49, 50. 2 The Lennox, by William Fraser, vol. ii. p. 15. 

3 Registrum de Dunfermelyn, p. 51. 


of Scotland;' and that in the instruments drawn up on this occasion some 
provisions were inserted which were loudly complained of as derogatory to 
the dignity of the kingdom ; the ahettors of England were stigmatised as 
conspirators who were equally obnoxious to prelates, barons and burgesses ; 
and the Bishop of Glasgow, the Bishop-elect of St. Andrews, the Chancellor, 
and the Earl of Menteith indignantly refused to affix their seals to a deed 
which, as they asserted, compromised the liberties of the country." 1 The 
Chronicle of Melrose calls the deed a " nefandissimum scriptum ;" 2 and 
Wyntoun 3 says — 

" Thare wes made swylk ordynans, 
That wes gret grefe and displeasans 
Till of Scotland ye thre Statis, 
Burgens, Barownys, and Prelatis." 

The new Begents were entirely indebted to the English King for their 

success, for the feeling of the whole nation was evidently against them ; and 

Tytler remarks that although the ambition of the Comyns may have given 

some plausible colour to the designs of their enemies, yet the new measures 

were generally and justly unpopular; and they soon came to an end. 

As soon as the new Begents had strengthened themselves in their offices, 

they summoned their predecessors to give an account of their proceedings. 

The National party, however, refused to acknowledge the new Government, 

and a state of anarchy was the result. The new Begents tried to coerce 

and persecute their rivals, and as they could not reach the nobles, they 

discharged their vengeance upon Gamelin, the bishop-elect of St. Andrews, 

who had formerly been Chancellor. On the see of St. Andrews becoming 

vacant by the death of David of Bernham, Gamelin sought to obtain it; 

1 Tytler's History, vol. i. p. 28. 2 Chronica de Mailros, p. 181. 

3 Macpherson's edition, book vn. chap. x. 


but Abel, the Archdeacon of St. Andrews, obtained it from the Pope for 
himself. On his death, after a very short tenure of office, Gamelin was 
elected without opposition ; but the Eegents strenuously opposed his occupa- 
tion of the see, and on his being consecrated by the Bishop of Glasgow, 
they outlawed him and confiscated the revenues. Gamelin hastened to 
Borne, induced the Pope to listen to his appeal, and was successful in 
obtaining from him a decision in his favour against the Scottish Eegents. 
They yielded so far as to allow the bishop to possess his benefice, on 
condition of his paying a large fine. This Gamelin refused to do, and 
without further delay they banished him and retained possession of his 
revenues. Again the bishop betook himself to Borne, and this time the 
Pope appointed the Bishop of Dunblane and the Abbots of Melrose and 
Jedburgh to excommunicate the recalcitrant Eegents unless they yielded. 
The sentence was duly announced in every church and chapel throughout 
Scotland; but as the Eegents paid no attention to it, they were adjudged 
contumacious, and solemnly excommunicated by name in the Abbey Church 
of Cambuskenneth by the Bishop of Dunblane and the Abbots of Jedburgh 
and Melrose, and the ceremony was afterwards repeated "by bell and 
candle " in every chapel in the kingdom. 

The National party considered this too good an opportunity to be missed, 
and although arrangements had been proceeding for a compromise between 
the rival factions, and even the very day fixed for settling the terms of it, all 
thoughts of such a measure were abandoned. The Comyns mustered their 
full strength, and supported by a knowledge of the popularity of their party, 
resolved by a bold stratagem to reinstate themselves in the government. 
During the regency of Durward and his coadjutors King Alexander had paid 
a visit to the Court of his father-in-law, but had now returned to Scotland, 
and was holding his Court for the time at Kinross. Menteith determined 


to obtain possession of the King's person, and on the night of the 28th 
October 1257, under cover of the darkness, Alexander was seized in 
bed, and conveyed with his Queen before morning to Stirling Castle. 
" Menteith," says Robertson, 1 " justified his conduct by maintaining that he 
had not overstepped the duty of a loyal subject in rescuing the person of his 
sovereign from the hands of excommunicated traitors, who, if they had been 
permitted to proceed in their nefarious career, would have brought an 
interdict upon the entire kingdom. He blamed the King for receding from 
the promise of his early youth, and for pursuing a line of conduct most 
injurious to the interests of his kingdom, by promoting aliens and foreigners 
in preference to his own native subjects ; whilst he openly charged Queen 
Margaret with an undue leaning towards the interests of her father, whom 
she had stimulated to bring a hostile army against her husband's country, 
thus causing irreparable mischief, and entailing ruin upon Robert de Ros, 
the most eminent baron of the north." 

Lord Hailes appears to have fallen into an error in reference to Robert 
de Ros. His Lordship represents that the Comyns vented their vengeance 
on him. " Already punished in England as the enemy of the Queen, he was 
now punished in Scotland as her partisan, and all his goods were confiscated." 
This appears strange conduct towards a former friend and ally ; but Lord 
Hailes has misrepresented the case of Ros by misreading the words of 
Matthew Paris, " as if the ruin of de Ros was imputable to the Comyns for 
his subsequent espousal of the Queen's cause, whereas the historian (Matthew 
Paris) evidently alludes to the loss of de Ros's great English fiefs, forfeited 
by Henry. De Ros had no opportunity of becoming a partisan of the 
Queen of Scotland, for he was thrown into prison, and even his life was 
in danger." 2 

1 Scotland under ber Early Kings, vol. ii. p. 72. - Ibid. p. 73. 


Menteith's success was complete : the opposing faction were utterly 
discomfited, and Durward fled to England. Most of the barons who had 
assisted him followed his example, and as it was likely that the King of 
England would espouse their cause, the Comyns lost no time in strengthening 
their position by entering into an alliance offensive and defensive with the 
Welsh, who were then at variance with England. The treaty was entered into 
on the 18th of March 1258 by a number of the Scottish nobles, with Walter 
Comyn, Earl of Menteith, at their head, while among the others were Alexander 
Comyn, Earl of Buchan, Justiciar of Scotland, William, Earl of Mar, William, 
Earl of Ross, John Comyn, Justiciar of Galloway, and Aymer de Maxwell, 
Chamberlain of Scotland ; on the Welsh side was Llewellyn, son of Griffin, 
Prince of Wales, with a number of his magnates. The agreement by the 
Scottish nobles was made without the consent of King Alexander, but it was 
conditional on his pleasure, and they promised, so far as lay in their power, 
to induce him to observe the obligation. They bound themselves not to 
permit any force to leave Scotland for the purpose of assisting the King of 
England against the Welsh, but, on the contrary, were to assist the latter 
with help and counsel ; and in addition to this, commercial relations were 
established between the two countries. Welsh traders were to be at liberty 
to come and go and vend their wares as they pleased, and Scottish traders 
were to be encouraged to go to Wales. 1 

It was not the desire of the Earl of Menteith and his friends that the 
nation should be involved in war with England, nor, if possible, any longer 
tormented with intestine turmoil. They accordingly assented to a meeting to 
be held at Jedburgh, with envoys sent by the King of England for the purpose 
of effecting a coalition, but at the same time took the precaution to have 
a large number of their followers at hand in Jedwood Eorest, as they knew 

1 Piymer's Foedera, vol. i. p. 370. 


that the English had a considerahle force at Norham, and would endeavour 
to seize the person of Alexander if it were possible. The strength of the 
Scots proved amply sufficient to defeat any such intention. Menteith acted 
prudently and moderately, and at the conclusion of the conference, which 
lasted three weeks, Alexander's Council consisted of the Queen-mother, Mary 
de Couci, and her second husband John de Brienne, and four of the leaders 
of either party, namely, the Bishop of St. Andrews, the Earls of Menteith, 
Buchan, and Mar, Alexander Stewart, Alan Durward, Eobert of Manners, 
and Gilbert of Hay. The great offices of the State, however, remained with 
the Comyns, and consequently they were the party really in power. 
"With this arrangement King Henry expressed himself satisfied, 1 and the 
internal discords of Scotland gradually ceased from the date of this 

The struggle against English interference, so nobly and successfully 
conducted by the Earl of Menteith, although attended with much misery, 
rapine, and bloodshed throughout the country, was almost concluded when 
he died. His death, which occurred in November 1258, was both sudden 
and unexpected. Henry learned the news, apparently with satisfaction, 
while he was at St. Albans, " that a stumbling charger had at length released 
him from the ablest and most consistent opponent of his policy amongst the 
Scottish Begents; for Menteith had been crushed by the fall of his horse, 
and the aged Earl never recovered from the shock." 2 Such was the cause 
of his death as reported in England, but in Scotland it was rumoured that 
his Countess had poisoned him ; and her conduct in remarrying almost 
immediately afterwards, and choosing an obscure Englishman for her 
husband, gave some colour to the story. By the death of this Earl of Menteith 
Scotland lost a patriot and a statesman who never wavered in his endeavours 

1 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. i. p. 378. 2 Robertson's Early Kings, vol. ii. p. 79. 


to establish her independence, and the National party lost a leader "whose 
courage and energy were the soul of their councils." 

The death of Menteith revived the hopes of the English monarch that he 
might yet be able to obtain Scotland, and he soon afterwards despatched an 
ambassador in the person of William de Horton, a monk of St. Albans, 
to request the presence of King Alexander and his Queen at London to treat 
of important State matters, which, however, were not allowed to transpire in 
the Scottish Parliament. But Menteith's spirit had not ceased to exert an 
influence upon his countrymen, although he was no longer personally among 
them, and the fruits of his long and devoted struggles to maintain the 
independence of his country were manifested in the cautious manner in 
which the Scottish Parliament acted in regard to the proposals of the 
English King. They had become extremely jealous of the interference 
of England, and before they consented to the absence of the King from 
Scotland, they despatched a secret embassy to the English Court, to state the 
conditions on which alone they would yield to the wishes of the English King. 

Historians have recounted some of the prominent incidents in the life of 
this Earl of Menteith. But they have generally omitted to allude to one 
important event in his life, the founding of the Priory of Inchmahome 
on the island of that name in the Lake of Menteith. The original charter 
or warrant for the erection of the Priory is dated 16th June 1238. It was 
thus about eight years after his marriage with the Countess that Walter 
Comyn commenced the foundation of the Priory, which for upwards of 
three centuries flourished as a religious house, and the ruins of which still 
form so picturesque a monument on their beautiful island. The founda- 
tion attests the piety and generosity of this patriotic Scotchman. The 
document which authorises the building of the Priory by the Earl of Menteith 
contains a mandate by Pope Gregory for the renovation and support of the 

VOL. I. E 


church of Dunblane, in which it is appointed that the fourth part of the 
teinds of the churches of the diocese of Dunblane should be given for 
the support of the church of Dunblane and its bishop. A dispute seems to 
have arisen between the Earl and the Bishop. In his " Scotland under 
her Early Kings," Robertson says, " When the Pope granted to the Bishop 
a fourth of the tithes of the whole diocese for the support of himself, a dean, 
and canons, the Bishop seems to have abandoned ' all right of pension out of 
the lands or churches of the Earl of Menteith,' who was permitted to found 
a house for regular canons at Inchniahomoc, making over the church of 
Kippen to found a canonry in Dunblane Cathedral, and the church of 
Callander for the Bishop himself. This arrangement wears very much the 
appearance of a compromise, as if, at the revival of the see, David had 
assigned the earldoms of Strathearn and Menteith to the Bishop as his 
diocese, neither of the Earls, in the first instance, resigning the church lands 
in their possession until the Earl of Menteith waived all claim to the patron- 
age of the see in return for the permission to found the family Priory of 
Inch Mahomoc ; whilst the Bishop waived all further claim upon the 
earldom of Menteith in return for the churches of Kippen and Callander." 1 

The grave of this great Scotchman is not known. Tradition states that 
the ancient burial-place of the Earls of Menteith was at Kippen. But this 
Earl had by his new foundation superseded Kippen as a place of sepulture, 
and it may be inferred that his remains would find a resting-place in that 
Priory which his piety had reared in the beautiful " Isle of Rest," where 
the ashes of his brother-in-law, another Walter, Earl of Menteith, and his 
Countess are said to repose. 

Both Chalmers and Mrs. Gumming Bruce say that Walter Corny n died 
without issue by his wife Isabella. He appears, however, to have had a son 

1 Early Kings, vol. i. p. 336, note. 


Henry, who, as son of the Earl of Menteith, is mentioned as a witness to 
a charter by Maldouen Earl of Lennox, granted about 1250, restoring to 
Maldouen, Dean of Luss, and Gillemore his son, certain lands of Luss. 1 He 
probably predeceased his father, as no mention is made of him after the 
latter's death. The Earl certainly left a daughter, Isabella Comyn. His 
estates of Badenoch may have been inherited by his nephew and heir- 
male, William, the son of Sir John Comyn, his brother ; and the earldom of 
Menteith should have been inherited by his daughter, Isabella Comyn. 
But owing to the proceedings of her mother, who survived her husband, 
the earldom was transferred to Lady Mary, the younger sister of Isabella 
Countess of Menteith, and her husband, Walter Stewart, as hereinafter 
explained in the Memoir of the Countess Mary. 

1 The Lennox, by William Fraser, vol. ii. p. 405. 

Seal of Alexander Comyn, Lord of Buchan. 



SIR JOHN RUSSELL, Knight, her second Husband. 

1258— Circa 1273. 

THE history of this lady after the death of her first husband, Walter 
Comyn, Earl of Menteith, as well as the history of her daughter, Lady 
Isabella Comyn, illustrates the misfortunes which in those days frequently 
attended the succession of an heiress to a great territorial estate. 

The grave had not long closed over the Countess's first husband, the 
Earl of Menteith, when she married Sir John Russell, an English knight 
of somewhat obscure origin. This marriage was very unpopular, and 
fraught with disaster to the parties themselves as well as to the earldom 
of Menteith. The intelligence of the event was received with indignation, 
alike by the family of her late husband and the Scottish nobility. It 
is probable that some of the latter had themselves hoped to receive the 
hand of the Countess in marriage, and with her the large domains which 
constituted the earldom. Their chagrin at seeing an Englishman gain the 
prize was none the less keen because of the slight thus shown to their 
own addresses by the Countess, and there seems little doubt that the 
charge of poisoning her late husband, which was brought against the 
unfortunate lady, originated among the nobles. This accusation, if it had 
been true, was a very grave one, for the life of the Earl of Menteith at such 
a time was valuable to Scotland. As head of the Regency, he was King in 
all but the name, while his many services to his country had brought him 
into high favour and popularity. His party, who were then in power, seem 
to have entertained the charge ; and though it was never substantiated by 


proof, they made it a pretext for throwing both her'and her second husband 
into prison and confiscating the earldom. Prominent amongst those who 
wished to dispossess the Countess was Sir John Comyn, younger brother of 
Walter Comyn, late Earl of Menteith. Sir John's son, William Comyn, 
having married his cousin, Lady Isabella Comyn, only daughter of Earl 
Walter, he claimed the earldom on behalf of William Comyn and his wife. 
But the claim was unsuccessful, for Walter Stewart, a brother of Alexander 
the High Steward of Scotland, one of the Eegents, having married Lady 
Mary, younger sister of Isabella Countess of Menteith, taking advantage 
of the unhappy position of his sister-in-law, also laid claim to the earldom. 
Favoured no doubt by the influence of his brother, the High Steward, and 
the other members of that powerful family, Walter Stewart succeeded, with 
the authority of Parliament, in obtaining the earldom, 1 and was thereafter 
known as Earl of Menteith. 

Meanwhile the Countess Isabella and her second husband were deprived 
of all power and authority over the earldom of Menteith. The Countess, 
indeed, was detained in prison by the Eegents and the party acting for her 
brother-in-law. Apparently for the purpose of obtaining her release, and 
probably before being deprived of the whole earldom, she was induced to 
make, with the consent of her second husband, a grant of part of it, being a 
twenty pound land in Aberfoyle. The grant was made in favour of Sir Hugh 
of Abernethy, and was witnessed by two of the Eegents, Alexander Comyn, 
Earl of Buchan, and William Earl of Mar.- On being afterwards set at 
liberty, the Countess, unwilling and unable to bear the taunts and insults 
of her adversaries, and having received a sum of money, quitted her native 
country, and retired with her husband to England. 

1 Forduu, Lib. x. cap. 11. lithographed from the original in the Douglas 

'-' Vol. ii. of this work, p. 213. Printed and Charter-chest. 



Chafing under the injustice of the enforced banishment from her own 
country and. the deprivation of her earldom, the despoiled Countess, in 
her retirement, put forth what efforts she could to regain possession of 
her ancestral domains. She went to the Court of King Henry the Third 
of England at Windsor, made known her case to him, and showed the 
convention made between her father, Maurice junior, and her uncle, Maurice 
senior, by which the earldom had been given to her father, with the charter 
by which King William the Lion confirmed the earldom to her father, in 
terms of the convention, both of which writs King Henry certified to be true 
and authentic evidents of her right. 1 More he could not do, as his jurisdic- 
tion did not extend beyond the Borders. Aided by these documents, the 
Countess next appealed to Pope Urban the Fourth, complaining of the injuries 
which had been done to her, and that she had been unjustly deprived 
of her inheritance. The Pope listened favourably to her complaints, and 
sent a nuncio, one Pontius, to York, with special powers to make inquiry 
into the alleged wrongs of the Countess. This legate, when he came, cited 
Walter Stewart, as the possessor of the earldom of Menteith, with the bishops, 
abbots, and almost the whole nobility of Scotland, to give testimony in the 
case. Such proceedings, says Fordun, 2 were contrary to the privileges of 
the King and of the kingdom of Scotland. King Alexander the Third 
resented the action of this nuncio as oppressive to himself, and also to his 
subjects, in citing them to appear and answer in judgment beyond the 
limits of the kingdom. He declared himself ready to judge the case 
according to the laws of his own realm, but refused to allow himself or 
his kingdom to be oppressed in this manner. He therefore appealed 
from the Pope's legate to the Pope himself, who, seeing that nothing was 
to be gained from this action, considered it prudent to remit the case to 
1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 214. - Fordun, Lib. x. c. 14. 


several bishops in Scotland, and to leave it in their hands. This he did by a 
somewhat lengthy letter to the Bishops of St. Andrews and Aberdeen, and 
the Abbot of Dunfermline, of which, on account of its importance, a 
translation is here given. 

" Urban, etc., to our venerable brethren, [Gamelin] of St. Andrews and 
[Richard] of Aberdeen, bishops, and to our beloved son, [Matthew] Abbot 
of Dunfermline, of the diocese of St. Andrews, greeting, etc. It has been 
declared before us, on behalf of our very dear son in Christ, [Alexander,] 
illustrious King of Scotland, that when a noble man, Walter Bulloc (Stewart), 
and a noble woman, Mary Countess of Menteith, bis wife, had brought an 
action before the said King against a noble man, John Bussel, of the diocese 
of Ely, and a noble woman, Isabella his spouse, for intenting petitory and 
possessory rights concerning the earldom of Menteith in the kingdom of 
Scotland, which each party declared they ought to hold in fee from the said 
King, and anent which Walter and Mary foresaid complained that the saids 
John and Isabella wronged them, the said King having heard what the 
parties wished to lay before him concerning their possessory rights, his own 
petitory right being held in suspense, and having understood the merits of 
the case, the order of law being observed, he, in presence of the foresaid 
John Bussel and Isabella, adjudged the possession of the said earldom, with 
its rights and pertinents, to Walter and Mary, by a definitive sentence, the 
rights of either party over the property of the said earldom being nevertheless 

" But we were afterwards informed that, although a marriage was latelv 
celebrated between the foresaid John and Isabella, with the consent of the 
King himself in that realm, according to the custom there, and that certain 
noble men, the Earls of Mar, Buchan, and Strathern, Alan Durward, and 
others their vassals, had taken an oath of fidelity to them, nevertheless 


the said Earls and Alan, with certain noble men, Malcolm, Earl of Fife, 
John Comyn, Alexander Oviot, and also Alan, called the son of the Earl, 
Hugh of Berkeley, David of Graham, David of Lochar, Beginald called the 
Chen, Hugh of Abernethy, and Freskin of Minteve (Moray), with others 
their accomplices of the said kingdom, because the said John Comyn and 
his associates maliciously and falsely charged the saids John Eussel and 
Isabella his wife, though vowed crusaders (crucesignatis), with having killed 
the late Walter Comyn, formerly husband of the said Isabella, by wickedly 
administering poison to him, had hastily caused that husband and wife to be 
taken and detained captives until they were compelled by violence and the 
fear of what should happen if they resisted, to give to the Earls and Alan 
aforesaid certain annual rents, lands, and possessions belonging to themselves, 
the earldom of Menteith with all its rights and pertinents, with the right also 
which they exercised therein, to be renounced by their letters-patent, and to 
grant the earldom itself to the foresaid John Comyn and his heirs, to be 
possessed by them for ever. And notwithstanding this, [the said John and 
Isabella were forced] to take an oatli that they would depart out of the king- 
dom, and in no wise return thither unless they had first betaken themselves 
to parts beyond the sea and had been recalled by John Comyn, and that 
they should not be able to return to the said kingdom upon such recall unless 
they had a mind to clear themselves from the charge of the murder of the 
foresaid Walter Comyn, by seven barons of the said realm, or more, their Peers, 
according to the good pleasure of the said John Comyn, and until they had 
delivered a noble man, Eobert Eussel, brother of the said John Eussel, to 
the foresaid John Comyn as a hostage, to be detained by him until they 
should resign the charters of the foresaid earldom and its pertinents to the 
said John Comyn in perpetuity. To such information it was added that 
John Comyn, the earls and others above mentioned, in opposition to the 


foresaid John Eussel and Isabella, while detained in prison, and undefended 
by the authority of the King, while as yet a minor, on this account, though 
it was not proved that they had committed the foresaid crime, had procured 
the foresaid earldom, which they (John and Isabella) had been compelled 
to renounce, as above related, to be decerned away from them, and had 
caused the said Walter Bulloc, pretending concerning the said earldom 
and its pertinents that the said Mary his wife was the heiress of the same, 
to be invested therein contrary to justice ; and notwithstanding this, the 
[said Earls] had compelled the said Isabella wholly to renounce her dowry, 
and forced the said John Eussel to consent to this renunciation : And thus 
the foresaid vowed crusaders (crucesignati) had incurred heavy losses and 
expenses, and the fulfilment of their vow was hindered. 

" Wherefore we by our letters gave commandment to our beloved son 
Pontius Nicolas, our chaplain, Provost of the Church of Mont Cenis, that he 
should proceed to the said earldom, or to the said kingdom if he could safety 
do so, otherwise to pass personally to parts adjacent to the said kingdom, 
and to summon those who should be summoned, with power to him that if, 
on more diligent inquiry into the truth of these things, quietly and without 
the bustle of courts, it should so appear, then he should, notwithstanding the 
gift, grant, resignation, renunciations, letters, oath and judgment foresaids, 
cause the said earldom, with all its rights and pertinents, and the said rents, 
lands, possessions, and dowry, and all other the foresaid goods in such wise 
seized by the said nobles, to be restored to the said crusaders (crucesignati), 
and also procure them satisfaction for the losses and expenses which they 
had incurred on this account, coercing to that end by ecclesiastical censure 
contradicters of our authority. 

"The foresaid Provost, however, exceeding the terms of our mandate, though 
he could safely have reached the foresaid kingdom, yet aspiring, as the eveDt 

VOL. I. F 


shows, to aggrieve the said King and kingdom, cited the King himself, and 
several prelates and earls, barons and nobles, and others of that realm, to 
his presence without the said kingdom, and unduly adjudged the earldom, 
lands, possessions, and goods foresaid to John Kussel and Isabella his wife ; 
and because many bishops and other prelates, earls, barons, nobles and 
others of the said earldom objected to him that they ought not to be called 
for this matter out of the kingdom, being unwilling to plead or to obey him 
in that place, as indeed they were not bound to do, he promulgated various 
sentences of excommunication, suspension, and interdict, and caused the 
whole foresaid kingdom to be placed under ecclesiastical interdict, to the 
prejudice and grievance of the King and others foresaid. Wherefore the 
foresaid King sought that the process of the said Provost, so far as it 
had gone, might be revoked, that Pontius be interdicted from interfering- 
further in this cause, and that the foresaid sentence of interdict should 
be recalled. 

" But because, as we have otherwise learned that out of this procedure of 
the said chaplain grievous scandal has arisen amongst the prelates, nobles, 
and other persons of that realm, we, who warmly embrace the said kingdom 
in the arms of affection, on account of the sincere devotion which its King 
and inhabitants bear towards Eome, and are known to have hitherto borne 
towards the Church, in this matter desiring, as by the office of apostleship 
laid upon us we are bound to provide for the dispensation of justice without 
injury, that this scandal may be removed, and the imminent dangers to souls 
arising therefrom may be obviated, remit to your discretion that after calling 
those who require to be called, and hearing what is to be said on both sides, 
you decree in this matter according to justice, appeal being postponed, and 
cause your decree to be strictly observed on pain of ecclesiastical censure, 
provided that you presume not to intermeddle with those things which belong 


to the jurisdiction of the said King, and are not matters for an ecclesiastical 
court. This you shall do, notwithstanding any letters prejudging truth and 
justice which have been obtained from the apostolic see. And you may 
by ecclesiastical censure compel witnesses to attest the truth. If, however, 
all of you cannot be present at the execution of these commands, two of you 
shall make it your care to observe them. Given at Eome, 2d January, in 
the third year of our pontificate (1264)." 1 

Thus the Pope himself was baffled to allay the commotion raised by 
this second contention about the earldom of Menteith, which on this 
occasion threatened most serious consequences. As it was, the proceedings 
culminated in Scotland being laid under interdict. One cannot but 
admire, however, the spirit of sturdy independence displayed, not only by 
King Alexander the Third and his nobles, but even by the Scottish clergy, 
in opposition to the insolent attempts of the Papal nuncio to treat Scotland 
as if it were a petty Italian village. Their stern refusal threw the Pope 
into the dilemma of either carrying out the interdict, or giving up the 
contest, and he chose the latter alternative by referring the matter to the 
judgment of the Scottish prelates mentioned in the document, with full 
power to bring the question to a speedy conclusion and to enforce their 
decision, but warning them withal not to encroach on what pertained to 
the jurisdiction of the King. 

It does not appear that any advantage resulted to the Countess from this 
recommittal of her case. It was too evidently a matter for King Alexander's 
own prerogative for the bishops to risk the raising of the question, and it was 
allowed to subside. The Countess herself deemed it useless to pursue her 
claim further at the Scottish Court, and so forbore. Meanwhile the earldom 
and title remained in the possession of Walter Stewart, who had already for 
1 Tbeiner's Vetera Momimeuta, p. 93, No. ccxxxvii. 


some years acted as Earl of Menteith. In the year 1262 he confirmed a 
grant of the Church of St. Colmanel, in Kintyre, to the Abbey of Paisley, and 
in the deed styles himself Walter Stewart, Earl of Menteith. 1 

As nothing more is known of the Countess, who was now advanced in 
life, it may be presumed that she ended her days in exile in England, it is 
thought about the year 1273, and that she was buried among the ancestors 
of her second husband, Sir John Eussell. 

Who this Englishman was has never been clearly ascertained. Buchanan, 
following Boece, calls him " ignoble ;" but there is some probability that he 
was the John Eussell who, at York, on 15th June 1220, swore, with several 
powerful English barons, on behalf of King Henry the Third, to do all in 
their power to promote the marriage of King Alexander the Second with the 
Princess Joan, the eldest sister of the English King, and failing her, with her 
younger sister, the Princess Isabella. 2 On this occasion Walter Comyn 
was also present at York, and performed a similar service for the Scottish 
monarch. 3 If this be so, Sir John Russell was probably the same person 
who is mentioned in an agreement between King Henry the Third and his 
aunt Berengaria, Queen of the late King Richard the First, respecting her 
dowry, made at London in the month of July the same year, 1220, as " our 
seneschal," whom the King caused to swear that he would observe and 
defend that arrangement, 4 and assist in the fulfilment of its conditions. 

It is possible that this John Russell may have been a member of the dis- 
tinguished family of Russell, afterwards Dukes of Bedford. The first known 
member of that family appears to have been John Russell, who, in the year 1 202, 
being the third year of the reign of King John, gave fifty marks for licence to 
marry the sister of Daun Bardolf. Kingston Russell, in the county of Dorset, 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 216. 3 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. i. p. 161. 

2 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. i. p. 160. i Ibid. p. 162. 


was the property of the Eussells, who, according to an old record in the time of 
King Henry the Third, held the lands by grand serjeantry, on condition that 
they should present a cup of beer to the King on the four principal feasts of 
the year. That John Eussell was said to be a son of Eobert Eussell, and 
Constable of Corfe Castle, in the county of Dorset, in the year 1221, and from 
him the Bedford Eussells appear to derive their descent. No mention is 
made in the account of the Eussells of Bedford of the marriage of Sir John 
Eussell and the Countess of Menteith. If the John Eussell of 1202 and 
1221, who is said to be the ancestor of the Bedford Eussells, had been the 
husband of the Countess of Menteith, it is probable that some notice of the 
marriage would have appeared in the accounts of the Bedford family ; 
although as there does not appear to have been any issue of the Countess's 
second marriage, it may have dropped out of sight, especially as their 
descent would be derived from a previous marriage of Sir John. If the 
husband of the Countess of Menteith was not the direct ancestor of the 
Bedford family he was probably a member of it, as the Christian name of 
John was common even at that early date in the family, has always been 
so, and in modern times has been borne by distinguished members of it, 
both Dukes and Earls. 1 

1 When the writer was at the Lake of of the Countess of Menteith and Sir John 

Menteith in the summer of 187S, he had the Russell, the alleged ignoble English knight, 

pleasure of meeting at Loehend, under the It was quite new to him, and some amuse- 

hospitable roof of Admiral Erskine, Lord ment was occasionally created by reference 

Edward Russell, another admiral, who was to his supposed ignoble ancestor. 
much interested in the story of the marriage 






LADY ISABELLA COMYN, the only surviving child of Walter Comyn, 
Earl of Menteith, and Isabella his Countess, after the death of her 
father, shared the misfortunes which overtook her mother on her marriage 
with Sir John Russell. After the death of her mother, Lady Isabella 
maintained her claim as the true heir to the earldom of Menteith, which, 
as previously stated, had been given by the King and Parliament to 
Walter Stewart, the husband of her aunt, Lady Mary. 

By a family arrangement, Lady Isabella Comyn married her cousin, 
William Comyn of Kirkintilloch, who became chief of the great Comyn 
family after the death of his father, John Comyn, younger brother of 
Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith. The precise date of the marriage has 
not been ascertained. But it was previous to the year 1273, as in that year 
the question of the right to the earldom of Menteith was raised on behalf 
of William Comyn, the husband of Lady Isabella. 

Sir John Comyn, the father of William, was one of the most powerful 
barons of Scotland during the minority of King Alexander the Third. On 
the death of his brother Walter, Sir John became the chief of the family of 
Comyn, and one of the regents of Scotland. He was one of the magnates 
of Scotland to whom King Henry the Third of England promised, in 
the event of the death of King Alexander, to deliver up the infant 


Princess Margaret of Scotland, if her mother Queen Margaret should die 
while at the English Court. 1 It was this Sir John Comyn who, while the 
Countess Isabella was in prison after her marriage with Sir John Russell, 
compelled her to renounce the earldom in his favour. Sir John Comyn 
belonged to the National party, but the opposite party were successful in 
obtaining it for one of themselves, Walter Stewart, who was permitted to 
enjoy it till 1273, when Sir John Comyn revived the question of the earldom 
of Menteith on behalf of his son, William Comyn, and his wife Isabella, the 
heiress ; and by instituting proceedings at York, sought to regain possession 
of the earldom from Walter Stewart and his wife, Lady Mary. The claim 
must have been vigorously prosecuted, as the historian Fordun describes it 
as a great litigation, and he mentions the wife of William Comyn as the 
daughter of the former Countess, and the true heir. 2 But the result of this 
new suit was as unsuccessful as when the Countess herself and her second 
husband, Sir John Russell, first made the claim in the year 1262. King 
Alexander steadfastly refused to permit a claim which referred to an 
earldom within his own kingdom to be prosecuted in England, or anywhere 
else, before foreign judges. 

Walter Stewart and his Countess retained possession of the entire 
earldom for twelve years more, until 1285, when a settlement of the question 
was made by King Alexander and his Parliament at Scone. It was then 
decided that the earldom of Menteith should be divided into two portions, 
one-half to be retained by Walter Stewart, including the principal messuage 
or castle, along with the title of Earl, as the dignity was usually attached 
to it, while the other half was erected into a free barony, and given to 
William Comyn, in right of his wife. Thus the dignity of Earl of Menteith 
was lost to the Comyns, although they still held half of the lands in the 

1 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. i. p. 402. - Fordun, Goodall's edition, vol. ii. p. 120. 


person of the husband of Lady Isabella. The settlement made by King 
Alexander is thus recorded by Wyntoun :— 

A thowsand twa hundyr foure scor and fyve 

Ylieris ivi borne wes God of lyve 

Alysandyr the Thryd, oure Kyng, 

Gert mak at Scone a gret gadryng 

The sextene day eftyr Pasce. 

Quhen thare the Statis gadryd was, 

Willame Comyn than of Lawch, 

The Lordis brodyr of the Badonauche, 

The erldwme of Monteth began 

Before the Kyng for to pled than. 

The Kyng than of his cownsale 

Made this delyverans thare fynale ; 

That erldwme to be delt in twa 

Partis, and the tane of th& 

Wyth the chemys 1 assygnyd he 

Til Walter Stwart : the lave to be 

Made als gud in all profyt ; 

Schyre Willame Comyn till hawe that qwyt, 

Til hald it in fre barony 

Besyd the erldwme all qwytly. 2 

The portions which formed the earldom and the barony respectively have 
not been ascertained, as no record of the proceedings appears to have been 
preserved, and the separation then made seems not to have continued for 

1 Macpherson, in his excellent edition of into the same misreading. He assumes that 
Wyntoun's Chronicle, has printed "themys" "themys" implies the serfs on the estate, 
instead of "chemys," meaning the chief mes- 
suage. Lord Hailes also, in his Sutherland 2 Wyntoun, Macpherson's edition, vol. i. 
Peerage Case, chapter v. § 4, p. 17, has fallen p. 397. 


any length of time. On the death of Lady Isabella Comyn or Hastings 
without issue, the baronial portion of Menteith probably descended to her 
cousin, Murdach, Earl of Menteith, the grandson of Lady Mary, Countess of 
Menteith, and the nearest heir, who in that character, would inherit the 
barony, and thus reunite both portions into which the earldom was divided 
on the compromise. 

William Comyn, Lord of Kirkintilloch, was one of the Barons who 
attended the Convention at Brigham on the Friday after the Feast of St. 
Gregory (18th March) in the year 1289, and he subscribed the letter of the 
Communitas of Scotland prepared at that meeting to be sent to King Edward 
the First of England respecting the marriage of that King's eldest son with 
Margaret the Maid of Norway. 1 On the 15th January 1291, Edward granted 
the keepership of the forest of Traquair and Selkirk to William, son of John 
Comyn, to be held by the grantee at the King's pleasure. 2 

These documents show that William Comyn was alive until January 
1291; but his death without issue by his wife the heiress of Menteith, 
before the 2d of June of that year, is instructed by the claim which was 
made on that date by John Comyn, his next younger brother, as one of 
the competitors for the crown of Scotland. 3 In that claim John Comyn 
states that William, his elder brother, died without heirs of his body. 

The accomplished authoress of " The Braces and the Cumyns " 4 states 
that Lady Isabella Comyn was not the daughter of Walter Comyn, Earl 
of Menteith, by Isabella his Countess, but of the Countess by her second 
marriage with Sir John Russell. 5 There is no ground, however, for such a 
theory. Lady Isabella is expressly called by the surname of Comyn in a 

1 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. i. p. 730. 3 Eymer's Fiedera, vol. i. p. 755. 

2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 221. 4 Mrs. Camming Bruce. 

5 The Bruces and the Cumyns, p. 404. 
VOL. I. G 


contemporary legal document, which of itself is sufficient evidence. 1 In no 
instance is she ever called Isabella Eussell, which would have been the case 
if she had been the daughter of the Countess and Sir John Eussell. 

If it is further borne in mind that Lady Isabella was married before 
1273, when the claim to the earldom was prosecuted by her husband and his 
father on her behalf, it will be evident that she could scarcely have been the 
daughter of Sir John Russell, the advanced age of the Countess of Menteith 
being also considered. It is, moreover, probable that Lady Isabella was 
married to her cousin William Comyn before the death of the Earl of 
Menteith her father, and that this was the cause of the strong measures 
employed by Sir John Comyn, the father of William, to wrest the earldom 
from the aged Countess. Indeed, Mrs. Cumming Bruce herself alleges that 
it was intended that William should become Earl of Menteith. 2 

That Lady Isabella was not the heiress to the lands of Badenoch pos- 
sessed by Walter Comyn is not sufficient proof that he was not her father. 
He could not have foreseen the disasters which befell his Countess and 
daughter after his decease, and he would probably consider Lady Isabella 
sufficiently provided for in the earldom of Menteith, which would fall to her 
on his own and her mother's death. He may thus have disposed of the 
lordship of Badenoch to his nephew John, the Black Comyn, afterwards a 
regent and a competitor for the Scottish crown, although the latter is not 
named in contemporary documents as Lord of Badenoch until after the 
death of his brother William. It added to the strength of the Comyn 
family to have among their members as many landed proprietors as 
possible, and the Earl of Menteith was one who would do his utmost to 
preserve and strengthen family influence. It may also have been the case 
that the lordship of Badenoch was granted to the Comyns with a limitation 
1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 221. a The Bruces and the Cumyns, p. 407. 



to heirs-male. Badenoch was acquired as a reward for deeds of valour 
done by Walter Comyn and his father William Comyn, and being a 
turbulent district of the country, but recently brought under subjection, 
it was scarcely meet that its control should be put into the hands of a young- 
lady at such a time. 

Seal of Sir Jolin Comyn, son of the Earl of Buclian, circa 1280. 

Seal of Sir John Comyn, circa 1285. 





BY the death of her first husband in 1291, the gift of Lady Isabella 
Comyn's marriage fell to the disposal of the Crown. The unhappy 
death of King Alexander the Third at Kinghorn had left Scotland without 
a sovereign; and King Edward the Eirst of England, as pretended Lord 
Paramount, was practically governing Scotland. To him the claims of all 
the aspirants to the vacant crown had been submitted as arbiter, and he had 
obliged the claimants themselves to swear fealty to him as his vassals. 
Towards the end of the year 1292, the claims of John Baliol were preferred 
by Edward to those of the other competitors for the throne of Scotland, and 
he was vested in it as a vassal of the English King. 

Among his first acts as King of Scotland, Baliol sought to secure the 
marriage of Lady Isabella Comyn for his own disposal, and to this end he 
obtained from her an assurance on oath that she would not marry without 
his consent. King Edward, however, was exercising his assumed prerogative 
of Lord Paramount by bestowing grants of lands in Scotland upon his own 
followers, making as many of them as he could sheriffs and officers through- 
out that country, that he might the better retain his hold upon it, and had 
intended the hand of Lady Isabella Comyn for one of his English knights, 
Sir Edmund Hastings. He therefore, on the 5th January 1293, directed, a 


mandate to John Baliol, King of Scotland, which, while it shows the King's 
purpose, has also an important bearing as valuable evidence of the marriage 
of William and Isabella Comyn. The mandate narrates that when Edward 
himself held the kingdom of Scotland, he would have given the marriage 
of Isabella Comyn, relict of William Comyn, to Sir Edmund Hastings, and 
directs Baliol to absolve Lady Isabella from the oath which he had extorted 
from her that she would not marry without his consent. 1 

Baliol was not in a position to refuse compliance with this demand of 
Edward's, and accordingly the marriage of Lady Isabella Comyn with Sir 
Edmund Hastings took place, probably in the same year. On the 14th of 
March 1306, she, as "Domina Isabella uxor Domini Edmundi de Hastings," 
did homage to Edward the First, probably at Lanercost, where Edward 
then lay, for a portion of her estates in the counties of Forfar and Stirling. 2 
Whatever rights were inherited by Isabella in the earldom of Menteith were 
enjoyed by her and her second husband conjointly. The title of Countess 
was not allowed to her, having been given to her aunt Lady Maiy, the 
Avife of Walter Stewart, and the dignities of the earldom had descended to 
their eldest son Alexander and his son Alan. 

It was about this time, and while Sir Edmund Hastings held the one-half 
of the earldom of Menteith, that the course of events brought the other half 
into the possession of his elder brother Sir John. Alan, Earl of Menteith, 
was one of the adherents of Robert the Bruce, and for his attachment to him 
was, when taken after the battle of Methven in 1306, imprisoned by King 
Edward, and his portion of the earldom was granted to Sir John Hastings. 
The two brothers, John and Edmund Hastings, thus held, at the same time, 
the entire earldom of Menteith between them. Sir John, by a special grant, 
held one portion, and Sir Edmund held the other by his marriage with the 
1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 221. 2 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. i. p. 995. 


heiress, though neither of them received the title of Earl of Menteith, as 
King Edward would not wish to offend the one brother by granting the 
dignity to the other. 

Sir Edmund Hastings, the second husband of Lady Isabella Comyn, was a 
younger brother of Sir John Hastings, one of the competitors for the crown 
of Scotland. Although Englishmen and loyal knights of King Edward the 
First, they were of Scottish royal extraction as descendants of the Princess 
Ada, third daughter of David Earl of Huntingdon, brother of King William 
the Lion. 1 Ada married Henry of Hastings, and left a son Henry, the father 
of John and Edmund. 2 The elder brother John having been born about 
the year 1251, it is probable that Sir Edmund's birth took place within 
a few years later. He would thus become of age about 1276. 3 

Though connected with Scotland by blood, and holding large possessions 
there, Sir Edmund Hastings was more attached to England, and during the 
whole of his life was a constant supporter of King Edward. He was 
especially active in his assistance when that King was attempting the 
subjugation of Scotland, so that his name occurs frequently in the annals 
of the time. His valour won him especial favours from the English King, 
among which was the hand of the heiress of Menteith; and he received 
several additional grants of lands during Edward's usurpation of the 
superiority of Scotland, before and during the reign of Baliol. 

King Edward exercised his assumed power in an arbitrary spirit, by 
placing English governors in the Scottish fortresses, and by giving grants of 
land to his own English favourites, which acts the Scots resented on every 
favourable opportunity. On an outbreak of hostilities between England and 
Erance, the Scottish nobles forced Baliol to throw off the supremacy of 

1 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. i. p. 776. 3 Siege of Carlaverock, by Sir Harris 

2 Fordun, ed. Hearae, vol. iv. p. 964. Nicolas, p. 299. 


Edward, and at the same time dismissed all Englishmen from the Scottish 
Court, seized upon the estates held by English barons in Scotland, and 
banished their proprietors. Sir Edmund Hastings was one of the latter. 
After defeating the Scottish army at Dunbar in the year 1296, Edward 
granted letters to those who had been thus banished. They were directed 
to the sheriffs of the various counties in which lay the lands they had 
formerly received ; and Sir Edmund Hastings carried missives addressed to 
the Sheriffs of Stirling, Edinburgh, Perth, Angus, and Aberdeen, directing 
them to restore his lands which had been escheated. These letters are 
dated 8th September 1296. 1 

Some of the lands thus restored had been in the possession of the 
Hastings family for a considerable time, and were not new favours from 
King Edward. The members of that family who settled in Scotland in the 
reign of King William the Lion acquired from that King the Manor of 
Dun 2 and the lands of Kingoldrum ; 3 and a later member, by marrying the 
daughter of Henry Earl of Athole, acquired the earldom of Athole, and became 
Earl in right of his wife. 4 Some of these lands seem to have descended to 
Sir Edmund Hastings. He certainly had the lands of Brothertown and land 
in Innerbervie, both in the county of Kincardine, 5 as well as certain lands in 
Dundee. 6 Sir Edmund was one of the barons of England, and must also 
have had considerable possessions in that country. In a memorandum which 
narrates that he had become surety for John Drummond of Scotland, who 
had been taken prisoner at the battle of Dunbar, he is designed Edmund 
of Hastings of the county of Suffolk. 7 John Drummond had been confined 

1 Rotuli Scotia?, vol. i. p. 30. 4 Chronica de Mailros, p. 155. 

- Caledonia, vol. i. p. 592. 5 Robertson's Index, p. 1. 

3 Registrant vetus de Aberbrothoe, p. 87. ° Ibid. p. 26. 

7 Ptymer's Ftedera, vol. i. p. 872. 


in the prison of the castle of Wisbeach, and was to be released on the 
bond of Sir Edrunnd Hastings, with the condition that he would serve King- 
Edward in his war with France. This incident is important, as showing the 
connection of the families of Menteith and Drummond, and has already been 
adverted to in the Introduction to this work. 

The appearance of Wallace as the patriotic asserter of the independence 
of Scotland proved disastrous to the peaceful enjoyment by the English of 
their restored estates in Scotland. Sir Edmund Hastings was probably 
among the first who suffered, as an attack on the Lennox and the adjacent 
lands was one of the early exploits of Wallace. Sir Edmund Hastings 
and his wife may have retired to his estates in England, as the continued 
success of Wallace's persistent attacks upon the English in Scotland would 
deprive him of all comfort in his beautiful Menteith residence. It is, 
however, more likely that he was obliged to take the field, as the frequency 
with which summonses were at this time issued by Edward for the mustering 
of his troops to proceed against the Scots, sufficiently attests the difficulty 
he had in counteracting the exertions of Wallace. 

On 26th September 1298, Sir Edmund Hastings was summoned by letter 
from King Edward to attend a muster of his troops at Carlisle in the follow- 
ing May for service against the Scots. He was requested to bring arms and 
horses with him. 1 This meeting was afterwards adjourned to the 2d of 
August, 2 and another letter, attested by Edward at Canterbury on 1 6th July, 
discharged the meeting altogether, on account of his own inability to be 
present through the hindrance of some arduous business ; but the same letter 
warned the barons to be ready at forty days' notice to obey his summons. 3 
Sir Edmund Hastings was again recpiested to provide arms and horses, and to 

1 Kymer's FceJera, vol. i. p. 899. 3 Palgrave's Parliamentary Writs, vol. i. 

2 Ibkl. i>. 909. p. 322. 


come with them to York on the morrow of St. Martins (11th November), 1299. 1 
On the 29th of December of that year he was summoned by letter from 
Edward, then at Berwick-on-Tweed, to attend Parliament on the 6th of 
March 1300 ; 2 and on the following day, the 30th December, from the same 
town, Edward declared his intention of firmly and energetically repressing 
the perfidious and wicked rebellion among the Scots, and called Sir Edmund 
Hastings to Carlisle, on the 24th of June 1300. 3 This summons the latter 
obeyed, for we find him enrolled among the knights present at Carlaverock, 
when it was taken by Edward on the 10th or 11th of July 1300. Sir 
Edmund is described by the author of " The Siege of Carlaverock," who is 
supposed to have been Walter of Exeter, a Franciscan friar, as the variant 
brother of Sir John of Hastings, who could not fail of those honours which 
he took so much pains to acquire. 4 

The English Parliament was summoned to meet at Lincoln on the 20th 
January 1301, and during its session the famous letter by the Earls and 
Barons of England to Pope Boniface was written and sealed by them. This 
letter is preserved in duplicate in the Public Record Office, London. Sir 
Edmund Hastings was present at this Parliament, and appears in the letter 
as one of the Barons. He is designated " Dominus de Enchimchelmok," and 
the legend on his seal is — 

" <S. (Eimrtmiii ^pasting (Hmratatb JEmstei." 

These designations plainly show that this Edmund Hastings was Lord of 
Inchmahome or Inchemacolmoc, as it was sometimes called, and that he used 
the seal of arms of the earldom of Menteith, to which he was entitled in 
right of his wife, the heiress. 

1 Palgrave's Parliamentary Writs, vol. i. p. 324. 2 Ibid. p. 82. 3 Ibid. p. 327. 

i The Siege of Carlaverock, by Sir Harris Nicolas, p. 57. 

VOL. I. H 


His designation and his armorial seal puzzled the late Sir Harris 
Nicolas, who in describing the seals attached to the letter, presumed that 
Enchimchelmok was a place in " St. David's, in Wales." That, however, 
was a mistake, arising from Sir Harris being unaware of Sir Edmund's con- 
nection with the earldom, and misunderstanding his real position as husband 
of the heiress of Menteith. The cognisance on the seal of Sir Edmund 
Hastings as used by him in the letter to the Pope has already been explained 
in the Introduction, and it is unnecessary to repeat here the observations 
there made upon it. 

During the next ten years Sir Edmund Hastings received repeated sum- 
monses to attend Edward the First and, after his death, Edward the Second, 
in their incursions into Scotland. At other times he was commanded to 
attend Parliament as a Baron of the English realm, but on such occasions it 
was frequently deemed prudent to grant him a dispensation from attendance, 
and to keep him in Scotland, where he was stated to be carrying on the war 
against the Scots. 1 

In the year 1312 Sir Edmund Hastings was appointed by King Edward 
the Second to the important office of keeper of the town of Berwick-on- 
Tweed, the key of Scotland. In that capacity he received a letter from the 
English King, dated the 28th of April 1312, in which he is also called 
Constable of his Majesty's Castle of Berwick, instructing him to release 
Isabella, wife of John, late Earl of Buchan. 2 The barbarous and cruel 
imprisonment of this lady in an open cage, in the town of Berwick, for the 
patriotic act of placing the crown on the head of King Robert the Bruce six 
years before, is a stain upon the humanity of the English monarch who 
inflicted such a punishment. Again, on the 3d May, William of Bevercote, 

1 Rotuli Scotise, vol. i. p. 52 ; Palgrave's Parliamentary Writs, vol. i. passim. 
- Eymer's Foedera, vol. ii. p. 209. 


Chancellor of Scotland, was commanded to pay out of the customs of the Port 
of Berwick certain sums due to Sir Edmund Hastings. 1 He was superseded 
in his office of keeper of the town of Berwick on the 30th of November 

1313, when a letter was addressed to him by King Edward the Second, 
directing him to hand over the custody of the town to his successor, Badulph 
the son of William. 2 

The last notice of Sir Edmund Hastings upon record occurs in a writ 
issued by King Edward the Second at Berwick-on-Tweed on 30th June 

1314, a few days after the battle of Bannockburn. He was one of upwards 
of three hundred who were summoned to assemble with all the forces they 
could command, at Newcastle-on-Tyne on the 15th August, for the purpose 
of repelling the attacks of the Scottish army on the Borders. 3 Where and 
how Sir Edmund died is not known, but he certainly never got the oppor- 
tunity of returning to the island home of which he could once boast that he 
was lord. 

No notice of Lady Isabella Comyn is found after the year 1306, when 
she performed homage to King Edward the First, and whether she predeceased 
or survived her second husband has not been ascertained. She is not known 
to have left any children by either of her husbands, and with her ended the 
connection of the great family of Comyn with the earldom of Menteith. 
Her portion of the earldom was probably bestowed by King Eobert the Bruce 
on her cousin and nearest heir, Murdach, younger brother of Alan, Earl of 
Menteith, who had suffered much from the Edwards for his attachment to 
Bruce, as will appear in the memoir of him given in a subsequent chapter 
of this work. 

1 Rotuli Scotia;, vol. i. p. 110. 3 Palgrave'a Parliamentary Writs, vol. ii. 

2 Ibid. p. 114. Div. II. p. 429. 






125S— 1295. 

rnHE Lady Mary Menteith was the younger of the two daughters of 
~L Maurice, Earl of Menteith. As already shown, Lady Mary and her 
husband, Walter Stewart, obtained the dignity and the earldom of 

Walter Stewart, popularly called Bailloch, Bullock, or The Freckled, 
was the third son of Walter, the third High Steward of Scotland. Before 
Walter Stewart obtained the earldom of Menteith, after which his position 
made him a very prominent person in the history of Scotland, his name 
appears in several charters and documents of the reign of King Alexander 
the Second. In a charter by Patrick, Earl of Dunbar, to the church of 
Melrose of lands in Hassington, dated at Berwick, 18th April, in the thirty- 
fourth year of the King's reign (1248), 1 one of the witnesses is Walter, 
son of Walter the Steward. 

Along with his brother Alexander, the High Steward, who was called 
the Scottish Hardyknute, and several others, Walter Stewart accompanied 

1 Liber de Melros, vol. i. pp. 210-214. 


King Louis the Ninth of France, called St. Louis, to the Holy War in the 
years 1248 and 1249, when they rendered valuable service in Egypt. 
On his return, after the death of King Alexander the Second in 1249, 
and the accession of his son King Alexander the Third, he found the 
kingdom of Scotland divided into two powerful factions, who struggled 
with each other for the supremacy. Walter Stewart sided with the 
party which favoured the interests of the King of England, but this 
may have been more for the purpose of keeping the powerful Comyn 
family in check than for furthering the claims of the English Kings on 
Scotland ; and it is very likely that this was the real reason for Walter 
Stewart's position during the minority of Alexander the Third, for in 
the latter part of that King's reign, and after his death, he proved him- 
self as true a friend to the national interests of his country as any of her 
other nobles. 

In 1255, Henry the Third of England, in answer to the complaints of his 
daughter the Queen of Scotland, sent several Barons to Scotland to learn 
through them how matters really stood ; and he commissioned them by letters 
to receive into his protection a number of the Scottish nobles, one of whom 
was Walter Stewart. 1 With the assistance of these the English delegates 
contrived by a clever stratagem to gain the Castle of Edinburgh from the 
Comyn party, and along with it the persons of Alexander and the Queen, 
who were residing there. Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith, was at that time 
governor of the Castle, 2 but was probably absent making arrangements for a 
proposed conference with the opposite party when it was taken by them. 
Alan Durward had a short time previously returned to Scotland, and his 
presence threatened the renewal of disturbances in the realm ; when, therefore, 

1 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. i. p. 320. 

2 Buchanan's History of Scotland, Aikmau's edition, vol. i. p. 379. 


he proposed that his party should meet with the ruling faction, they readily 
agreed to a conference at Stirling on an early date. The Comyns set about 
the arrangements for the conference in good faith, but the others, pleased 
at throwing their opponents off their guard, proceeded to carry out their 
schemes. Two horsemen appeared at the gate of Edinburgh Castle, who 
represented themselves to be vassals of Eobert de Eos, one of the Eegents, 
and sought admittance. No suspicion was entertained of their identity, and 
they were without hesitation received within the walls. The Queen, however, 
recognising the new comers as two of her father's friends, the Earl of 
Gloucester and John Maunsell, provost of Beverley, welcomed their arrival 
with joy. Meanwhile the pretended followers of Eobert de Eos continued to 
arrive in twos and threes, and gradually became numerous enough to eject 
the former defenders of the fortress. The Comyns made an attempt to regain 
the stronghold which contained so important a treasure as the King and 
Queen, but their opponents were prepared for resistance, and the King 
of England himself was advancing with his army to the Borders. This 
rendered the attempt hopeless, and the Eegents suffered themselves to be 
superseded by others, chosen chiefly from among those Barons whom Henry 
King of England had taken into his protection. Walter Stewart was not 
at this time admitted to a share in the government, although his elder 
brother Alexander was. 

Walter Stewart, like his father and other members of the Stewart family, 
was a liberal benefactor to the churches of Paisley and Kilwinning. Paisley 
Abbey was the burial-place of the Stewart family previously. 1 Under the 
name and designation of Walter Stewart, Earl of Menteith, he witnessed 
at Paisley, on Palm Sunday, 17th April 1261, a charter by Dufgal, son 
of Syfyn, to the Abbey of Paisley, of the patronage of the church of 

1 Eegistrum Monasterii de Passelet, p. 121. 


Kilcolmanel in Kintyre. 1 This Dugall M°Swine shortly afterwards granted 
the lands of Skipnish, Kedeslatt, and others to Walter Stewart, Earl of 
Menteith, by a charter, dated Wednesday, twenty days after St. Hilary's 
Feast, 1262. The lands were to be held of the said Dugall with the privilege 
of a free barony, with sock, sack, tholl, thame, and infangtheiff, and for 
service to the King of two parts of a soldier in his Majesty's armies, and that 
for all other service and duty to be exacted forth of the said lands. 2 Having 
thus become the holder of these lands, the Earl of Menteith confirmed the 
grant of the patronage of the church of Kilcolmanel by Dugall M c Swine to 
the Monastery of Paisley, by a charter dated also in the year 1262. The 
reason for confirming this grant is stated to be, that since Dufgal had 
given the right of patronage of the church of Kilcolmanel to the monks of 
Paisley, he had given the land of Schypinche on which the church stood 
to the Earl of Menteith ; and the chapel of St. Columba, also given to the 
monks of Paisley, was in close proximity to the Castle of Schypinche. 3 
Walter Earl of Menteith, for the welfare of his own soul, the soul of his 
wife, and the souls of his predecessors and successors, also granted to 
the monastery of St. Mary and St. Wynnin of Kilwinning his right of 
patronage in the parish church of St. Charmaig in Knapdale, with the 
chapels of St, Mary in Knapdale and St. Michael in Inverlussa, with 
three penny lands in Eiventos annexed to the said church, in the diocese 
of Argyll. 4 

In the year 1263 the Earl was employed on a special service in reference 
to the Western Isles of Scotland. These islands had been ceded to Norway 
in the reign of Malcolm Canmore, which cession was confirmed by King 

1 Registrum Monasterii de Passelet, p. 121. 3 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 216. 

4 Theiner's Vetera Monumenta, p. 24S, 
- Argyll Inventory, vol. i. p. 295. No. cccclxxxviii. 


Edgar, and they had now been held by the Kings of Norway for a considerable 
time as parts of their dominions. An attempt was made by King Alexander 
the Second to recover the Isles for Scotland by negotiations with the 
Norwegians, but these failing, he had recourse to arms, and it was in the 
endeavour to carry out this enterprise that he was seized with fatal indisposi- 
tion, and died at Kerrera, an island on the west coast of Argyllshire, in the 
year 1249. On arriving at maturity, King Alexander the Third pursued 
the policy of his father with respect to the Hebrides, and reopened negotia- 
tions with Norway for their reannexation to Scotland. These overtures were 
no more successful than those formerly made by his father. Meanwhile 
complaints were continually made to Haco King of Norway by his depen- 
dants in the Isles of incessant raids upon them by the chiefs of Western 
Scotland, against whom they desired his protection. These repeated com- 
plaints incensed Haco, and he determined to put a stop to the causes which 
gave rise to them. He assembled an immense fleet, the magnitude of which 
excited terror in the minds even of the inhabitants of the north-east coast of 
England. Gathering strength to his already imposing naval armament by the 
accessions of his vassals as he came, Haco swept through the Pentland Firth 
round the north of Scotland, and proceeding down past the Western Isles, 
reached the Firth of Clyde. Alexander endeavoured by negotiation to avert 
the threatened contest, and succeeded in delaying active hostilities until the 
approach of winter. At length the Norwegian King, perceiving no advantage 
to accrue from his delay, resolved to wait no longer, and despatched a number 
of his ships to ravage the coasts, while he himself remained in the Clyde. 
On the evening of the 1st of October 1263 a violent storm arose, which 
caused much havoc among Haco's ships, ten of which sarjk in Loch Long, five 
were driven ashore on the Ayrshire coast, and many more were considerably 
damaged by the combined force of wind and waves. The Scottish army was 


mustered at Largs, under the command of Alexander, the High Steward of 
Scotland, ably supported by his brother, Walter, Earl of Menteith, and now 
came their time for action. Beacons blazed along the coast, and the Scotch 
peasantry nocked to the spot with such arms as they had. During the whole 
of the following day a desperate struggle was maintained along the shore, 
in which the Norwegians were driven to their boats, and only at nightfall 
succeeded in embarking what remained of their disintegrated and dispirited 

Although the battle of Largs cannot be called a great battle in respect 
of the numbers engaged, yet its results entitle it to an honourable 
place in history ; and the excellent spirit and bravery of the Scottish army, 
influenced by the valour and courage of the Stewarts, was the means of 
establishing the supremacy of Scotland over the Western Isles. Haco with- 
drew from the Clyde, returning by the way he came to Orkney, where he 
was seized with mortal illness, and died at Kirkwall six weeks after his 
defeat at Largs. 

Walter Stewart was now despatched along with other nobles to reduce 
the chieftains of the Western Isles to the allegiance of King Alexander. 1 
Their subjugation was finally accomplished, and they were punished in 
various ways for their participation in the attack of the Norwegian King. 
Afterwards, on receiving a sum of money, the successor of Haco was pre- 
vailed upon to relinquish all further claim upon the Isles. 

While engaged in the work of subduing the islanders, Walter Stewart 
was assisted by Colin Fitzgerald, one of the ancestors of the noble House of 
Cromartie, who also fought with the Earl of Menteith at Largs. He was left 
by the Earl to command the fort then built at Kintail, and in 1266 he 
received from King Alexander a charter of the lands of Kintail for his 
1 The Earls of Cromartie, by William Fraser, vol. ii. pp. 463, 509. 

VOL. I. 


services. To this charter, dated at Kincardine, on the 9th of January, 
Walter Stewart is a witness. 1 

During the time of Haco's invasion, and for some time afterwards, Walter 
Stewart, Earl of Menteith, was Sheriff of the county of Ayr. 2 Part of his 
official account rendered in the Exchequer during his period of office has been 
preserved by Thomas, first Earl of Haddington, one of the ablest Scottish 
lawyers of the seventeenth century. The entries in that account are 
particularly interesting, as showing the preparations made at Ayr for the 
expected visit of Haco. The following payments were made : — To expenses 
of messengers watching the movements of Haco, King of Norway, on three 
different occasions, twenty-four shillings and eightpence halfpenny; to 
expenses of an hostage, namely, the son of Angus, son of Dovenald, that is, 
of Alexander, afterwards Lord of the Isles, with his nurse and another 
servant-maid for twenty-six weeks, seventy-nine shillings and tenpence ; for 
four men watching the ships of the King for twenty-three weeks, sixteen 
shillings and tenpence halfpenny. The Earl asks that the customs on eleven 
score stones of iron, which had been imported and made into one thousand 
seven hundred and seventy cross-bow bolts, should be allocated to him. He 
further seeks repayment of sixty pounds, fifteen shillings and eightpence, 
which had been expended by him in the construction of ships for the King 
at Ayr ; and of seven marks spent in the cutting, manufacture, and carriage 
of ten score oars. In like manner he seeks reimbursement of the expenses 
of six score retainers, whom he kept in the castle of Ayr for three weeks, 
through failure on the part of the burgesses, who ought, the Earl adds, to 
have entered into the castle for its defence at the command of the Kiug. 
This, he alleges, they were unwilling to do, and it is requested that if their 

1 The Earls of Cromartie, by William Fraser, vol. i. p. xi. 

2 The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vol. i. p. 5. 


neglect be proven, they ought to be made to pay the expenses of the said 
retainers, if not, the Earl will pay them. 

There is also a memorandum in this account of the Earl of Menteith as 
Sheriff of Ayr, that the Earl had the son of Gilaverianus, farmer of the 
Cumbraes, as a hostage for the payment of a fine of fourscore cows, incurred 
by the said Gilaverianus to the King. 

This Earl of Menteith was also Sheriff of Dumbarton in the year 1271. 
On the 24th of April of that year, King Alexander the Third issued a 
mandate or brieve of inquisition, addressed to Walter Earl of Menteith, 
Sheriff of Dumbarton, to inquire if Mary, Ellen, and Forveleth, daughters of 
the late Finlay of Campsie, were the lawful heirs of the deceased Dufgal, 
brother of Maldoven Earl of Lennox. The Earl of Menteith returned the 
brieve with the verdict that the three ladies were the heirs of Dufgal their 
grandfather. The inquest was held at Dumbarton on the Friday before the 
Feast of St. Dunstan the Archbishop (15th May), 1271. 1 That inquest was 
strongly urged by Lord Hailes in the Sutherland Peerage Case as a proof 
that, in the thirteenth century, female succession was established in the law 
and practice of Scotland. 2 

Walter Stewart, Earl of Menteith, was witness to a charter by Thomas de 
Cragyn confirming a grant of the church of Cragyn to the monastery of 
Paisley, dated at Paisley on the Monday before the Feast of Saint Lucy 
the Virgin (the 13th of December), 1272. In this charter the granter says, 
In testimony whereof, because my seal is not authentic, for the sake of 
greater testimony I have caused the present writing to be strengthened at 
my instance with the seal of Sir Alexander, Steward of Scotland, together 
with my own seal. 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 217. 

2 Additional Case in Sutherland Peerage, chap. i. pp. 6, 7- 


In the following year the contest arose with the family of Comyn ahout 
Walter Stewart's right to the earldom of Menteith, but owing to the irregular 
proceedings of the Corny ns in trying to get the matter settled outside the 
kingdom, nothing was effected by them, and the earldom remained in the 
possession of Walter Stewart and his wife, Lady Mary Menteith. 

In 1281, less than twenty years after the battle of Largs, the Earl of Men- 
teith played an active part in matters arising out of the amicable relations 
restored between the kingdoms of Scotland and Norway. In that year a 
marriage was arranged between Eric, King of Norway, then in his fourteenth 
year, and the Princess Margaret, only daughter of King Alexander the Third 
and his late Queen, Princess Margaret, daughter of King Henry the Third of 
England. The terms of the marriage- contract were arranged between King 
Alexander and the representatives of King Eric at Eoxburgh, on the 25th of 
July 1281. To this deed Walter, Earl of Menteith, was a witness, and he 
undertook, upon oath, to see that its stipulations were carried out. The Princess 
Margaret, then in her twenty-first year, left Scotland on the 12th of August, 
accompanied by the Earl and Countess of Menteith, with other nobles and 
attendants, and reached Norway on the evening of the 1 4th. After witnessing 
the marriage and coronation of the Princess, Walter Stewart and his Countess 
returned to Scotland. Two ships left the Norwegian coast, one containing the 
nobles, including the Earl of Menteith, the other bearing a number of ecclesi- 
astics, among whom was the Abbot of Balmerino. Only the former vessel, 
however, reached Scotland ; the ship containing the clergy sank on the way. 1 

The Queen of Norway died in 1283, leaving an infant daughter Margaret, 
popularly called " The Maiden of Norway." King Alexander, now bereft 
of all his children, as his only surviving son Alexander had lately died, 
summoned a council of all his nobles at Scone on the 5th of February 1283, 

1 Liber Pluscardensis, p. 108. 


and exacted from them a declaration on oath, that in the event of his dying 
without further issue, male or female, or in the event of there being no issue 
of his son, who had married the Lady Margaret of Flanders, they would 
acknowledge his grand-daughter, the Maiden of Norway, as their rightful 
sovereign. Walter, Earl of Menteith, was present at this Parliament, and 
gave his promise with the rest, many of the barons appending their seals to 
the formal document which was drawn up. 1 

On the 1st of July in the following year, 1284, King Alexander was at 
Stirling, where he granted a charter to the Abbey of Newbattle. Walter, Earl 
of Menteith, was present at the time, and witnessed the deed. 2 In the same 
year King Alexander was married to his second wife, Joleta, a daughter of 
the Count de Dreux, probably in the hope of preserving the lineal succession 
of the crown in his own heirs. But by his untimely death from falling over 
a cliff near Kinghorn, whilst riding in the dusk of the evening of the 16th 
March 1285, the Scottish throne became vacant, and by the entire failure 
of heirs of the King's own body, the regal succession fell to his daughter's 
daughter, Margaret, the Maid of Norway. She was scarce three years of 
age, and a regency of six noblemen and bishops was therefore appointed to 
superintend the affairs of the kingdom until she should be able to assume 
the reins of government. 

During the infancy of the Queen, the interests of those who in the event 
of her death might hope to succeed to the crown, naturally led them to 
provide for such an emergency. Of such aspirants the two chief were Bruce 
and Baliol, and the friends of either began to gather around him whom they 
intended to support if the Princess should die during the regency. The 
Regents themselves were divided in interest, and so hot did the jealousies 
and contentions of the two parties become, that frequent hostilities arose. 
1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 424. 2 Chartulary of Neubotle, p. 32. 



Walter Stewart, Earl of Menteith, along with Ms nephew, James the High 
Steward, one of the Eegents, favoured the claims of Bruce, and together with 
the latter and other powerful nobles, whose influence extended over the whole 
of the west and south of Scotland, met at Brace's castle of Turnberry in 
Carrick, and entered into a bond for mutual defence, by which they covenanted 
to adhere to and take part with one another against all opposers, saving 
their allegiance to the King of England and to him who should obtain the 
throne of Scotland by right of descent from the late King Alexander. In 
this they were joined by two powerful English noblemen, Thomas de Clare, 
brother of Gilbert Earl of Gloucester, a nephew of Brace's wife, and 
Richard de Burgh, Earl of Ulster. 1 

In 1289 Walter Stewart was again Sheriff of Dumbarton. 2 In the same 
year negotiations were entered into between Eric King of Norway and 
Edward the First, King of England, for the marriage of the Maid of Norway 
with Prince Edward, eldest son of the King of England. As soon as this 
became known in Scotland it was hailed with satisfaction, and a meeting of 
the Estates was held at Brigham, a Border hamlet near Coldstream, in 
Berwickshire, on 1 7th March, from which a letter, signed by the whole of the 
Communitas of Scotland, was sent to Edward, declaring the joy with which 
they learned the news of the proposed alliance, and promising their hearty 
concurrence and support, provided the liberties of their kingdom were 
respected. The Eegents also on the same day wrote another letter, addressed 
to King Eric, intimating to him their consent to the marriage, and requesting 
his furtherance of the proposals. In all these arrangements Walter, Earl of 
Menteith, took an active part, and his name appears among the Earls who 
joined in the letter to Edward. 3 At the same Parliament was confirmed 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 219. • Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vol. i. p. 49. 

3 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. i. p. 730. 


the treaty of Salisbury, by which it was arranged that the young Queen 
should be brought to Scotland or England, and Walter, Earl of Menteith, was 
among those who consented to this. 1 By all parties the alliance of the heiress 
of Scotland to the Prince of England was anxiously looked for in the hope 
that it would terminate the baneful distractions into which the country had 
been thrown by the contentions of the claimants for the throne. On the 
other hand, Edward eagerly accepted the proposals which came to him both 
from Norway and Scotland. He had already procured from the Pope a 
dispensation for the marriage, and on receiving the letter from the Scotch 
Communitas at Brigham, appointed commissioners to meet with the Estates 
of Scotland at the same place on 18th July 1290. At that meeting the 
marriage was finally arranged, and the terms of the treaty were such as 
fully provided security for the future independence of Scotland. The 
spirit which, amid all their variance, led the Scottish nobles to unite for 
securing the maintenance of the rights and liberties of their country is 
admirable, and adds keenness to the regret with which the fact must be 
viewed, that the strivings of their personal ambition at a later date all but 
sacrificed their country to the covetous spirit of the English sovereign. 
Edward the First had scarcely signed the treaty before he attempted to 
break it by appointing governors of his own in Scotland, and demanding 
that the strongholds of that kingdom should be put under his charge. 

Sir Michael Scott of Balwearie and Sir David Wemyss of Wemyss, both 
of the county of Fife, were appointed commissioners to conduct the young- 
Queen from Norway to her own kingdom. Her arrival was looked forward 
to with great joy. The infant Princess was the symbol of a happily 
arranged union, and the promise of an enduring peace between two rival 
nations. But all these hopes were disappointed. While on her voyage to 
1 Historical Documents, Scotland, vol. i. p. 129. 


Scotland the poor child became very sick, and was landed at Orkney, 
where she died in the end of September or beginning of October 1290. 
In a letter, dated at Leuchars, 7th October 1290, from William Fraser, 
Bishop of St. Andrews, one of the Eegents of Scotland, to King Edward 
the First, he refers to the lamentable rumour spread among the people of 
the death of their Queen. The bishop adds that he had heard that the Queen 
was recovering, but was still weak. In that letter, of which a facsimile is 
here given, there are indications of the keen and disastrous competition which 
was to follow on the death of the Queen. The movements of Bruce and 
Baliol, the two most prominent competitors, are referred to by the bishop. 
Bruce, the bishop says, had already a large following, and he counsels Edward 
to be very cautious in his promises to Baliol, should the latter apply to him. 1 

To avert a civil war, the rival claimants to the throne agreed to submit 
their claims to the arbitration of King Edward the First of England. 
Edward accepted the office with eagerness, and soon declared his determina- 
tion to be acknowledged as Lord Paramount of Scotland, or to effect its 
conquest by force. This demand was first made at a conference with 
the clergy and nobility of Scotland at Norham, on 10th May 1291, and 
took them by surprise. They craved delay, and obtained three weeks, 
during which time Edward bribed some of them by presents of money, and 
others by inducing them also to become competitors. He was successful 
in producing further dissensions by thus rousing private personal ambition. 
No fewer than thirteen competitors appeared as claimants of the Scottish 
crown, and all of them agreed to acknowledge the superiority of Edward 
over Scotland. 

From his prominent position among the nobles of Scotland, the Earl of 

' Original Letter in Public Record Office, lithographed in "The Frasers of Philorth," by 
London; Royal Letters, No. 1.302 ; printed and Alexander Lord Saltoun, 1879, vol. ii. p. 195. 

FUJI i n«| i ._ , . 

unfit i H ii i 

I i! « « * 






I 5 <j iff I I 

Ivl J 4 i il *§ 

Mi OJ^t 

.^4- t i tq 




< * • Ld 1 1 ? 





Menteith was necessarily involved in all these negotiations about the succes- 
sion, and was nominated by Bruce as one of his forty commissioners. 1 Other 
forty were chosen by Baliol and his party, and twenty-four were added by 
Edward. The whole one hundred and four were then empowered by Edward 
to investigate and report on the rival claims ; but before their session began, 
the kingdom of Scotland was formally made over to Edward, and fealty 
sworn to him by the Barons and many other subjects. Walter, Earl of 
Menteith, took the oath of fealty, and performed homage to Edward on 1 3th 
June 1292. The commissioners met at Berwick on the 2d of August and 
soon disposed of most of the claims, the number being finally restricted to 
those of Bruce and Baliol, who both argued their respective rights at great 
length, and at last the report was laid before the King, and his decision 
requested. Edward pronounced in favour of Baliol, and the Earl of Menteith 
was present at Norham on the 20th of November, when Baliol again swore 
fealty to Edward as his liegeman. 2 Baliol was then crowned at St. Andrews, 
and afterwards proceeded to Newcastle-on-Tyne, and once more paid homage 
to Edward. 3 On this occasion Walter, Earl of Menteith, does not appear to 
have been present, or to have taken any part in the proceedings following 
on Baliol's coronation. 

In the same year, 1292, the land of Knapdale, which belonged to the Earl 
of Menteith, was incorporated with other lands in the sheriffdom of Lorn, 
and placed under the jurisdiction of Alexander of Argyll.* 

The indignities suffered at the hands of the haughty Edward by Baliol 
and his subjects so exasperated the latter, that when Edward himself 
was dealt with in a similar manner by Philip, King of France, and a 
war between France and England was imminent, the Scottish nobles 

1 Rymer's Foedera, vol. i. p. 767. 2 Ibid. p. 7S1. 3 Ibid. p. 7S2. 

4 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 447. 
VOL. I. K 


seized the opportunity to cast off their allegiance to the English King, 
and induced Baliol to do the same. Edward, on determining to prosecute 
a war with France, issued letters to Baliol and the Scottish Earls, com- 
manding their presence at London on 1st September 1294, with arms 
and horses ready to cross the sea. By another letter the day of meeting 
was postponed to the 30th September, and the place of meeting changed 
to Portsmouth. Copies of both letters, dated respectively 29th June 
and 17th August 1294, were addressed to Walter, Earl of Menteith. These 
summonses were treated with contempt by the Scottish nobles, who, after 
dismissing all Englishmen from Baliol's Court and from places of power and 
trust, obliging many of them to leave the country, sought an alliance with 
France, and prepared for war against Edward. Twelve Peers were chosen as 
a council to assist Baliol in the government of the kingdom, and, lest his 
courage should give way, he was kept secure in one of his own castles. 

Walter Stewart, Earl of Menteith, seems to have died in this or the 
following year. He is thought by some historians to have fought at the 
battle of Dunbar, and to have been taken prisoner by Edward, who is said 
to have first sent him to the Tower of London and then put him to death. 
An Earl of Menteith did take part in the engagement at Dunbar, and was 
sent as a prisoner to the Tower of London; but that Earl, there is good 
reason to believe, was Alexander, the son of Walter Stewart. 

In the Appendix to his " Annals of Scotland," Lord Hailes devotes a 
chapter to Walter Stewart, Earl of Menteith. He says, " Our later historians 
unanimously assert that after the surrender of Dunbar Edward I. put the 
Earl of Menteith to death. I once believed what I now must number among 
the legends of Scotland." After quoting the passages from Fordun, Boece, 
Bellenden, Lesley, and Buchanan on the subject, Lord Hailes remarks, 
" Enough has been said to prove that our historians talk at random concerning 




I o 

-i >- 

S ° 

ce a. 







the cruelty which Edward displayed at the surrender of Dunbar, and that 
they either copy, misunderstand, or pervert the meaning of each other." 1 

Walter, Earl of Menteith, was predeceased by his Countess Mary. This 
appears from the grant made by him to the monastery of Kilwinning, which 
is for the weal of his own soul and the soul of Lady Mary, Countess of 
Menteith, sometime his spouse, and the souls of his predecessors and suc- 
cessors. 2 It is probable that she was dead before 1286, when Walter, Earl 
of Menteith, with Alexander his son, and Matilda, the wife of Alexander, 
granted the church of Kippen to the Abbey of Cambuskenneth, in order 
to secure a place of sepulture for themselves in the Abbey, as she is 
not mentioned along with her husband in making the gift, and unless 
she had already been dead, there seems no ground for the omission. The 
former Earls of Menteith, according to tradition, had their burial-place in 
the church of Kippen, which was situated within the earldom, and their 
own Stewart ancestors lay in the cloisters of Paisley Abbey, but the Stewart 
Earls of Menteith may have considered Cambuskenneth more worthy of the 
dignity of the family than the church of Kippen. Yet it does not seem 
that either Walter Stewart or his Countess were buried in- the Abbey of 
Cambuskenneth. The sepulchre of both was probably near the high altar of 
the Priory of Inchmahome, in the lake of Menteith. A monument which 
was erected to their memory is still preserved in the centre of the choir of 
the Priory, a representation of which is here given. The figures are seven 
feet long, and in full relief. 

" The steel-clad Stewart, Red-Cross knight, 

Menteith his Countess, fair and bright, 

Here live in sculptured stone." 3 

1 Annals, vol. iii. p. 42, Appendix No. v. 3 The Priory of Inchmahome, by Rev. William 

2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 220. Macgregor Stirling, p. 8. 



The shield of Walter Stewart bears the well-known fess cheque 1 of the 
Stewart family, and a label of five points to show his position as a younger 
son of the High Steward. Walter, Earl of Menteith, thus continued his 
own paternal coat of Stewart after he became Earl of Menteith, instead of 
adopting the armorial bearings of the earldom of Menteith. His own family 
arms were assumed from the dignified office of Steward, while the Menteith 
arms proper had not been so long in use and were not so well known. In 
continuing his own arms, Earl Walter showed fairness to the line of the 
elder sister, Countess Isabella, by whom the earldom was claimed, and the 
armorial bearings of which were actually used by Sir Edmund Hastings, 
the second husband of Lady Isabella Comyn. 

An engraving of the seal of Walter Stewart, Earl of Menteith, is here 
given from the original in the Public Record Office, appended to a document 
dated 1292. 

By his Countess Mary, Walter Stewart left two sons : — 

1. Alexander, who succeeded him in the earldom. 

2. Sir John Menteith of Eusky, chiefly remembered for the part he 

took in the capture of Wallace, and for delivering him to Edward 
King of England. 



Circa 1295— circa 1304. 

ALEXANDER and John, the two sons of Walter Stewart, Earl of 
Menteith, and Mary his Countess, dropped the surname of Stewart 
and assumed that of Menteith. Descending from a younger son of the 
third High Steward, one who, by the acquisition of the earldom and 
dignity of Earl of Menteith, had raised himself to an independent position, 
they wished to retain their connection with the noble family of Stewart, 
soon to become a royal house, while they also maintained the influential 
position of Earls of Menteith. 

Previous to 1295 Alexander, the eldest son of Walter Stewart, Earl of 
Menteith, is simply known as Alexander of Menteith. He is said by the 
peerage writers to have been present with his father at the Parliament 
assembled by King Alexander the Third at Scone on 5th February 1283, 
when the King obtained the assurances of his nobles that they would receive 
and support the Maid of Norway as their rightful Queen, fading male heirs 
of the King himself or of his son Alexander. His name, however, does not 
occur in the list of those present, and as the reference adduced in support of 
the statement points to a later date, there is no evidence that he took part 
in the proceedings of that Parliament. Alexander of Menteith probably 
married about this time, as his wife Matilda is named with her husband and 


his father, Walter, Earl of Menteith, as granting the church of Kippen to 
the Abbey of Cambuskenneth, to secure for themselves a place of burial in 
the abbey. This grant is said, according to Duncan Stewart, to have been 
made in 1286. 1 

In that year Alexander joined with his father and brother in the mutual 
bond entered into by Bruce's party at Turnberry. 2 He was present at Brigham 
in 1289, when the Estates of Scotland met there and addressed a letter to 
Edward King of England, respecting the proposed marriage of their Queen 
and his eldest son. In that letter he appears simply as "Alisaundre de 
Meneteth." 3 

In the account rendered by Sir Walter de Langetone, keeper of King- 
Edward the First's wardrobe, of stores provided at Berwick by that King for 
the affairs of Scotland, there occurs a curious entry. In accounting for the 
disposal of a supply of wheat which had passed through his hands, Sir 
Walter de Langetone refers to loss in wheat delivered to Alexander of 
Menteith of Scotland in three " seudris " (chalders), containing twelve 
quarters by English measure, the price of the "seudra" being thirty-two 
shillings ; sum total, four pounds sixteen shillings, which money could not be 
uplifted from the foresaid Alexander, because nothing was found by which 
he could be distrained for the foresaid debt, twelve quarters of wheat. 4 

Having accompanied his father to Norham in 1291 for the settlement of 
the Scottish succession, Alexander of Menteith, son of the Earl of Menteith, 
in June of that year, swore fealty to King Edward the First of England, 
acknowledging him as overlord of Scotland. 5 

1 History of the Stewarts, p. 208. 4 Historical Documents, Scotland, vol. i. 

2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 219. p. 209. 

3 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 

vol. i. p. 441. 5 Kymer's Fcedera, vol. i. p. 772. 


In the following year Alexander of Menteith was appointed by John 
Baliol, King of Scotland, guardian of the lands of Alexander of Abemethy. 
These lands Alexander of Menteith was to keep safely, under pain of forfeiture, 
until Alexander of Abernethy came of age, when all rents and profits of the 
lands were to be accounted for to him, or, in the event of his death, to his 
executors. 1 

Alexander succeeded to the earldom of Menteith on the death of his 
father, probably about 1295, and as Earl he took an active part in the stirring 
events of those times. Already the Scottish nobles had forced Baliol to throw 
off the English yoke, and surrounding him with a council of themselves, kept 
him aloof from English influence. To recover Scotland Edward had recourse 
to his old tactics of disguising his true intentions, and by promising favour to 
Bruce, sowed the seeds of dissension again among the Scots. He himself 
advanced with his army on Berwick, and distinguished himself in its capture 
by the cruelty, rapacity, and bloodshed which he encouraged. Berwick fell on 
the 30th of March 1296, and Edward remained nearly a month in the town. 2 
The Scots, stung to madness by the insolence and cruelty of the English 
King, flew to arms, and seven of the Scottish Earls, among whom were 
Menteith, Athole, and Boss, collected their forces, and ravaged the English 
districts of Bedesdale and Tynedale, fiercely retaliating the outrages com- 
mitted upon the unoffending inhabitants of Berwick. 3 They afterwards 
threw themselves into the Castle of Dunbar, which was at this time in the 
possession of the English. Patrick, the Earl of Dunbar, was fighting in 
the army of Edward ; but his Countess disliked the English, and secretly 
assisted the Scottish leaders in the capture of the fortress. Here the Scots 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 447. 
- Historical Documents, Scotland, vol. i. p. 25. 
3 Chronicon de Lanercost, p. 174. 


strengthened themselves, and sent word to their friends to hasten to their 
succour. On hearing of the loss of the Castle of Dunbar, Edward at once 
despatched the Earl of Surrey with a strong force to regain it. On his 
arrival Surrey commenced a siege, and the garrison, who were comparatively 
few in number, agreed to capitulate if not relieved within three days. 
Before the expiry of that term the Scottish army had assembled in large 
numbers at Dunbar, and the garrison were jubilant at the prospect of an 
English defeat. The Scots took up a strong position on a rising ground, and 
had every prospect of success, but for an unhappy mistake. The English 
occupied a less advantageous position, and were obliged to execute some 
manoeuvres, which the Scots interpreted as a confusion in their ranks, and 
leaving their position on the hill, they rushed down upon the English in 
the valley, who were drawn up in compact order, ready to receive them. 
The Scots now realised their error, but it was too late to retrieve the 
unfortunate charge, and a terrible carnage and rout began. Although superior 
in numbers, the Scots were utterly defeated. According to a manuscript 
account of the fourteenth century, " ten thousand and fifty-five, by right 
reckoning," were left dead upon the field, 1 and large numbers were taken 
prisoners. Many fled to the Castle of Dunbar for refuge, but on the 
following day it surrendered to Edward, who had come up with the rest 
of his army. Many of the Scottish nobility were taken and sent to various 
prisons throughout England. The Earls of Menteitb, Athole, and Eoss, with 
other prisoners of rank, were sent in chains to London, and consigned to the 
Tower, the Constable of the Tower receiving strict injunctions to keep them 
with all safety. 2 In the accounts of King Edward's keeper of the wardrobe 
respecting the affairs of Scotland, there is an entry bearing on the expenses 
of the capture of the three Earls of Eoss, Athole, and Menteith, and other 
1 Historical Documents, Scotland, vol. ii. p. 26. '- Rymer's Fcedera, vol. i. p. 841. 


Scotch prisoners taken in the Castle of Dunbar, and of conveying them to 
clivers places of security in England, which amounted to £2083, 17s. 7d. 1 

The Earl of Menteith's imprisonment was of short duration. Popular 
tradition, adopted by some historians, records that the three Earls who were 
committed to the Tower were put to death by Edward in a cruel manner. 
This is, however, a mistake ; both the Earls of Ross and Athole were liberated 
in the following year, on agreeing to serve Edward against the French, 2 and 
support from their lands was granted by Edward to their Countesses while 
they were in prison. 3 To the Earl of Menteith much greater clemency was 
shown, and he could not have been in prison longer than two or three months 
at most. This may have been owing to the influence of Bruce and Patrick, 
Earl of Dunbar, both of whom were at that time in favour with Edward ; 
and as they also were parties to the mutual bond of defence entered into in 
1286 at Turnberry, they may have used their efforts to procure Menteith's 

After his victory at Dunbar, Edward made an extensive journey through 
Scotland, to secure the submission of the principal towns and castles. 
Travelling by Pioxburgh and Jedburgh he came to Newbattle Abbey, and 
entered Edinburgh on the 6th of June, where the taking of the Castle 
detained him a few days. Then proceeding by Linlithgow and Stirling, 
Edward reached Perth on the 21st June, whence he proceeded by Cluny and 
Kinclaven to Eorfar and Montrose, at which latter place, on the 10th 
July, he received the submission of Baliol and a number of the nobility. 
Afterwards he went to Aberdeen, and thence by Banff and Cullen, reaching 
Elgin on the 26th of July, 4 where he remained for two days. While there 

1 Historical Documents, Scotland, vol. ii. 3 Rotuli Scotia?, vol. i. p. 28. 

p. 19. 4 Historical Documents, Scotland, vol. ii. 

" Rotuli Scotia;, vol. i. p. 44. pp. 27-29. 

VOL. I. L 


the following instrument was drawn up, and as it throws considerable light 
on the question as to whether it was Alexander Earl of Menteith or his 
father Walter Stewart who fought at Dunbar and was sent by Edward to 
the Tower of London, a translation of the document is given : — 

To all those who shall see or hear these letters, Alexander Earl of 
Menteith, greeting. As my dear Lord Edward, by the grace of God, King 
of England, Lord of Ireland and Duke of Aquitaine, has of his special 
favour delivered my body from his prison, in which I was for my late 
transgression in bearing arms against him and otherwise, and has likewise 
restored to me the earldom of Menteith with its pertinents, together with all 
the other lands which are held of him in chief, and ought to be, that is to 
say, those for which I have done homage to Sir John Baliol, lately King of 
Scotland, to be held at the pleasure of my lord the King of England 
aforesaid, also as I wholly forfeited them to him by my acts of trespass 
foresaid, I acknowledge by these my letters that I have received from the 
said King of England my earldom with its pertinents, together with its other 
vassalages, to hold at his pleasure as is before mentioned : Wherefore I 
promise, for myself and my heirs, upon pain of body and goods, as far as we 
can incur the same, that we shall serve him well and loyally against all 
mortals whenever we shall be required or warned by him or his heirs, and 
that we shall never know anything to their hurt without hindering it to the 
best of our power, and letting them know of it; and loyally to keep and 
observe these things I oblige myself and my heirs, and all our goods, what- 
ever we can forfeit; moreover, I have sworn upon the holy gospels. In 
witness whereof, I have caused make these letters-patent, sealed with my 
seal. Given at Elgin, in Moray, the 27th day of July [1296]. 1 

This was probably prepared in anticipation of the Earl of Menteith's 
1 Ragman Rolls, pp. 103, 104. 


consenting to it. He may still at this time have been in the Tower, and 
have been released on agreeing to the terms of these letters-patent. He is 
indeed said, in the preamble of the letters, to have come of his own free will 
to the King of England, at Elgin, and willingly to have renounced the treaty 
made with the King of France, in so far as he was concerned therein, and 
to have sworn fealty to Edward in due form. 1 But considering the recent 
committal of the Earl of Menteith to the Tower, the great distance between 
London and Elgin, and the difficulties and inconveniences of travelling in 
those times, it is unlikely that the Earl of Menteith was personally present 
at the preparation of the letters. Edward was now at the extremity of his 
journey northwards in Scotland, and he began his return on the 29th of July 
travelling by Kincardine-O'Neil to Brechin, which he reached on the 4th of 
August ; and after passing through Dundee, Perth, St. Andrews, Markinch, 
and Dunfermline, he reached Stirling on the 14th of August, and passing 
through Edinburgh returned on the 2 2d of August to Berwick, where 
he held a Parliament, and received the submission of the Scottish nobles, 
bishops, and others. The Earl of Menteith is distinctly said to have 
appeared personally before Edward at Berwick, very probably on his way 
home from London after his release from the Tower, and he swore fealty to 
Edward, along with many others. A further reason for concluding that the 
Earl of Menteith was not personally present at Elgin is found in the fact 
that Alexander of Argyll is also one of the number for whom letters-patent 
were prepared at Elgin, yet on the 10th of September he is still said to be 
detained in prison, and his lands were placed under the care of the Earl of 
Menteith. For some reason he had not yielded to the terms proposed to 
him by Edward at that time, but he was set at liberty in the following year. 2 
Eeverting to the opinion expressed by Lord Hailes that it was not Walter 
1 Ragman Rolls, p. 103. 2 Rotuli Scotia;, vol. i. pp. 31, 40. 


Stewart who was present at Dunbar, but his sou Alexander, the documents 
now referred to show that he is correct. The same evidence goes to confirm 
what Lord Hailes chiefly contended for, that the popular tradition of the Earl 
of Menteith's being cruelly put to death by Edward was wholly mythical, 
and probably arose through historians confusing the fate which Sir John 
Graham, a later Earl of Menteith, suffered at the hands of Edward the Third 
of England, with that of the Earl whom they supposed, also erroneously, to 
be Walter Stewart. 

Lord Hailes, however, is wrong in his statement that Alexander Earl of 
Menteith engaged to serve Edward in his foreign wars. The mistake arises 
from the general references made to the Scottish prisoners by the English 
historians. They speak of them generally as being released on condition of 
serving Edward in France, and in the case of most of the Scottish prisoners 
this was true. But in a number of instances exceptions were made. Those 
who were released before Edward left Scotland had no such condition 
proposed to them. They were only required to deliver their sons to the 
English King as hostages, and to swear fealty, and the Earl of Menteith was 
among the first to obtain this clemency from Edward. 

The Earl of Menteith took the oath of fealty to Edward at Berwick on 
the 28th of August 1296, along with a number of other nobles and knights 
who had been liberated. He is represented as repeating the terms of the 
letters-patent prepared at Elgin, and also as joining in the following 
declaration : — 

And since we all and each of us for himself have clone homage to our 
Lord the King aforesaid in these words, " I become your liegeman of life 
and limb and worldly honour against all persons who live or die may," and 
the same King our Lord received them in this form — " We receive this for 
the lands of which you are at present seised, saving our right and the right 


of others, and excepting the lands which John Baliol, who was King of 
Scotland, gave you since we granted the kingdom of Scotland to him, and 
excepting also those lands which we have seised before you came to our 
peace ;" besides this, we all and each of us for himself have done fealty to 
our Lord the King aforesaid in these words, " I shall be true aud leal, and 
shall keep faith and loyalty to King Edward, King of England, and to his 
heirs of life and limb and earthly honour against all persons who may live or 
die, and I shall never bear arms for any one, nor give counsel nor aid against 
him, nor against his heirs, in any case that may happen ; and I will truly 
acknowledge and truly perform the services which pertain to the tenements 
which I claim to hold of him. So may God and the saints help me." In 
testimony whereof we have caused these letters-patent to be made, sealed 
with our seals. 1 

It does not appear that any of the lands pertaining to the earldom of 
Menteith were retained by Edward, or otherwise disposed of by him. On 
the contrary, it would seem from the letters made at Elgin that the earldom 
was restored to Earl Alexander intact. 

On obtaining Iris liberty the Earl of Menteith left two of his sons, Alan 
and Peter, in the hands of the English King as hostages for the fulfilment of 
his allegiance. 2 

On the same day that he swore fealty to Edward, the Earl of Menteith 
formally recognised a debt due by him and his ward Alexander of Abernethy 
to Henry Percy. A deed was drawn up in presence of the King, of which 
the following is a translation : — 

Alexander, Earl of Menteith, and Alexander of Abernethy have recognised 
(each of them being liable for the whole) that they owe one hundred marks 
to Henry of Percy, of which they will pay to him one-half at the Feast of 

1 Ragman Rolls, pp. 119, 120. 2 Historical Documents, Scotland, vol. ii. p. 138. 


St. Martin next to come, and the other half at the Feast of Pentecost next 
following. And if they do not, they agree for themselves and their heirs 
that the money foresaid shall be uplifted from their lands and chattels in 
the earldom of Menteith and elsewhere, to whosesoever hands these presents 
shall come. Attested by the King at Berwick-upon-Tweed, the 28th day of 
August. 1 

On the 10th of September Alexander, Earl of Menteith, was directed by 
Edward to take under his charge the lands, islands, and castles of Alexander 
of Argyll and John his son, and to become security for them. He was 
also instructed to provide for the sustenance of the wife and family of 
Alexander of Argyll till the latter should be liberated, and till his eldest 
son John should come to the King's peace. For his intromissions with the 
estate of Alexander of Argyll, the Earl of Menteith was to be responsible 
to the King of England's exchequer at Berwick. 2 The dependencies of 
Argyll were also instructed to recognise the Earl of Menteith as the guardian 
appointed by the King. 

Soon after this King Edward returned to England, only to find that after 
all his toil and labour the old spirit of independence was still alive and at 
work in Scotland. The fire had only been partially extinguished, and needed 
but the stimulus of English oppression to rekindle its flame and cause 
it to burn more intensely than before. That illustrious hero of Scottish 
independence, William Wallace, now appeared as the champion of his 
country's liberties, and already by his intrepid valour and persevering energy 
bad turned the tide in favour of the Scots. At first with but a handful 
of brave and desperate men around him, he executed great havoc amongst 
the English garrisons throughout the country. He was afterwards joined by 
Sir William Douglas, and his followers gradually increased as his continued 
1 Historical Documents, Scotland, vol. ii. p. 82. 2 Kotuli Scotise, vol. i. p. 31. 


successes inspired their hopes. The nobles for the most part were deterred 
from joining with Wallace by their oaths to the English King, while not a 
few of them were still in English prisons, but almost all their followers were 
with him. The continual harassings by Wallace at last roused the English 
to retaliate, and gathering their forces together they determined to crush their 
tormentor. Wallace was prepared for them, and on the 11th of September 
1297 the battle of Stirling was fought, resulting in the entire defeat of the 
English and the complete emancipation of Scotland for the time from the 
English rule. Even Berwick was abandoned by the English in their terror 
at Wallace's approach. 

Whether the Earl of Menteith took part in the proceedings of Wallace is 
not known. He seems to have been in England in the month of June, as on 
the 1 1th of that month he received a safe-conduct from Edward for a journey 
to Scotland. 1 He must therefore have been in Scotland when the battle of 
Stirling was fought, and may have taken part in it. 

The news of this blow to their supremacy in Scotland aroused the English 
Government to action, and in the absence of Edward in Flanders letters were 
despatched in his name to several of the Scottish nobles, requiring their aid 
in the suppression of what was termed the rebellion in Scotland. One such 
letter was addressed to Alexander Earl of Menteith, attested by Edward, son 
of the Xing, at St. Paul's, London, on 26th September 1297, in which, after 
specially thanking the Earl for his fidelity to him in the past, he informs 
him that the guardianship of Scotland had been committed to Brian Fitz- 
Alan, and enjoins him to continue in his loyalty, proceeding from good to 
better, and to assist the Governor of Scotland with arms, horses, and in 
every other way possible for the suppression of the rebellion, so often as 
required by the foresaid Brian Fitz-Alan.- 

1 Historical Documents, Scotland, vol. ii. p. 175. - Rotuli Scotia;, p. 50. 


But the kingdom was now in the possession of Wallace, who by common 
consent had been elected Governor of Scotland in name of King John, and 
the summons by the English Government was neglected. Wallace did not 
long enjoy the office of Governor, as after his defeat at Falkirk in July 1298, 
which was partly occasioned by the treachery of some and the desertion of 
others of the nobility who were jealous of his power, he demitted his office 
and retired from the scene of his patriotic labours. 

In the course of the struggles for independence continued by the Scots 
against Edward many battles were fought, and campaigns were begun and 
ended only to be followed by others. In these the Earl of Menteith must 
have taken part, but the name of Alexander does not occur. In 1303, when 
Edward again invaded Scotland, he gave the command of one of the divisions 
of his army to his eldest son, Edward Prince of Wales, and sent him into the 
west of Scotland, while he himself proceeded northwards; and the Earl of 
Menteith, with the Earl of Strathern and certain knights, was commanded 
to meet the Prince on the day when the latter should come to Dunfermline. 1 
But whether this Earl was Alexander or his son Alan there is no direct 
evidence to show. The exact manner and time of the death of this Earl of 
Menteith, like that of his father Walter, is thus unknown, but he must have 
been dead before 1306, as at that date his son Alan is named as Earl. As 
previously stated, Alexander and his Countess Matilda provided a burial- 
place for themselves in the Abbey of Cambuskenneth, and there probably 
they were buried, but no record is known to exist to attest the certainty 
of this. 

By his Countess Matilda, whose surname is unknown, Earl Alexander 
left four sons : — 

1 Palgrave's Historical Documents, vol. i. p. 284. 


1 . Alan, who succeeded him in the earldom of Menteith. 

2. Peter, who along with his brother Alan was taken to England as a 

hostage for his father's fidelity, and accompanied Edward the 
First to Flanders. 1 

3. Murdach, who was the eighth Earl of Menteith, having succeeded 

his brother Alan. 

4. Alexander of Menteith, who witnessed a charter by Murdach, and 

is designated in it " our brother." 2 

This seal of Alexander, Earl of Menteith, has already been described in 
the Introduction, as bearing three bars wavy surmounted by a fess cheque, 
being the armorial bearings of the parents of Earl Alexander. 

1 Historical Documents, Scotland, vol. ii. pp. 138-141. '- Vol. ii. of this work, p. 229. 

VOL. I. M 


Circa 1304—1306. 

ALAN, the eldest son of Alexander, sixth Earl of Menteith, succeeded to 
the earldom at a critical period in the history of Scotland, and took 
an active part in the struggle by which the liberties of his country were 
maintained. It is no marvel if in the troubles of these times his enjoyment 
of the earldom was very short. 

Alan may have been born about the year 1280. He would be but a 
youth when, on his father's release from the Tower of London, he, with his 
younger brother Peter, was left in the hands of King Edward the First as 
a pledge for his father's fidelity. The two youths accompanied the King on 
his return to London in the latter part of 1296, and on the outbreak of 
hostilities with the King of France in the following year they were equipped 
by Edward, and went with him to Flanders as squires of his household. In 
the accounts of the keeper of King Edward's wardrobe for 1296-7, there are 
several entries of payments for armour, clothing, and horses bought for them. 

On the 23d of July 1297, there was paid £27, 7s. 4d. for two long- 
soldiers' cloaks, two soft woollen under-tunics, two pairs of arm-plates, one 
coat of mail and one habergeon, two light helmets, two iron caps, two pairs 
of thigh-pieces, two pairs of soft hose, two throat-pieces, two pairs of mail- 
gauntlets, and two shields bought for Alan and Peter, sons of the Earl of 
Menteith, by the command of King Edward, and given to them as a gift from 
the King for the war with France, which they received at Westminster. 

On the 21st of August following Alan was presented with a horse which 
cost twenty marks, and Peter his brother received a white horse which cost 
ten pounds, both being gifts from King Edward for their use in the French 


war. These were received by them at Winchelsea. In November they 
received money for their journey to Flanders, and while at La Neylande 
twenty shillings were paid for a winter garment for Alan. 1 Both Alan and 
Peter thus served with Edward in the French campaign of 1297; but 
whether Peter returned to England with Alan is uncertain, as these are the 
only notices of him which have been found. 

Alan succeeded to the earldom on the death of his father, which took 
place either in 1303 or soon thereafter. He must have been Earl in 1303, 
if it were he who was commanded to meet Prince Edward of England on 
his arrival at Dunfermline. But it may have been his father Alexander, as 
the Christian name of the Earl is not given. If the latter conjecture be 
correct, Earl Alexander must have died shortly afterwards, and Alan pro- 
bably obtained the earldom in 1304. 

Duncan, Earl of Fife, made an entail of his earldom in favour of Alan, 
Earl of Menteith. 2 Alan himself never obtained possession of the earldom of 
Fife, but by virtue of that entail, and a subsequent deed made by Isabel 
Countess of Fife, it fell to Eobert Stewart, son of King Eobert the Second, 
who married Earl Alan's grand-daughter, the Countess Margaret. Through 
this marriage and the entail of the earldom of Fife, Eobert became Earl of 
Fife and Menteith. 

Alan, Earl of Menteith, granted the lands of Thome in Menteith to Sir 
Walter of Aikenhead, knight. 3 The charter being undated, the exact time 
of this grant is uncertain, but it was probably made in 1305 or 1306, and was 
only for life, as the lands afterwards reverted to the earldom, and were given 
by Murdach, Earl of Menteith, to his kinsman Walter of Menteith. 4 

The Earl of Menteith joined Eobert the Bruce, when, after slaying 

1 Historical Documents, Scotland, vol. ii. pp. 138-142. 

2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 251. 3 Ibid. p. 223. 4 Ibid. p. 225. 


his rival John Comyn in the church at Dumfries, Bruce determined 
on the bold step of asserting his right to the throne of Scotland, and 
of freeing his country from English oppression. Having gone to Scone, 
Bruce was there crowned, on the 27th March 1306, by Bobert Wishart, 
Bishop of Glasgow, and two days later he was placed in the regal chair by 
Isabella, Countess of Buehan, daughter of Duncan, Earl of Fife, her brother 
the Earl of Fife being then in the English interest. Very few of the Scottish 
nobles were present to greet the new-made King ; the majority of them pre- 
ferring to wait the issue of this new attempt rather than subject the country 
and themselves to the horrors of another English invasion. Several of them, 
especially the Comyns, who were yet sufficiently powerful to exercise great 
control in Scottish affairs, and who resented the slaughter of their kinsman, 
endeavoured to thwart Bruce's schemes ; and there can be little doubt that 
these discords were greatly the cause of the difficulties which beset King 
Bobert the First in the beginning of his reign. He had no slight task before 
him; but, undaunted by its magnitude, Bruce at once took the field, and 
directed his efforts to clear the country of its English oppressors. He seized 
several towns and castles where English garrisons lay, and either imprisoned 
the officials of the English King or compelled them to depart across the Borders. 
On intelligence being conveyed to Edward that all his labours in Scotland 
had again been rendered fruitless, he was roused to fury. It had been the 
aim of his whole life to add Scotland to England, and he could not brook 
that in his old age it should be torn from his grasp. He despatched two 
armies to Scotland under the command of the Prince of Wales and the 
Earl of Pembroke. Pembroke's army proceeded to Perth ; thither also Bruce 
led Ms small army, and there he challenged the English general to single 
combat. The challenge was accepted, but as the fight was deferred till the 
following day, Bruce withdrew to the wood of Methven adjoining the city, 


where he encamped with his soldiers. Belying on the literal performance 
of the English general's word, and not suspecting any attack, King Bobert 
appears to have kept too careless a watch, and permitted many of his soldiers 
to forage over the country. The rest were at work preparing supper, when 
the camp was suddenly attacked by Pembroke's forces, and before the 
Scottish army could form themselves into battle array a rout began. Many 
of Bruce's followers were slain, a large number were taken prisoners, and the 
King himself only escaped by flight after several deadly encounters. 

The Earl of Menteith was one of the captives, and would have been 
put to death if Pembroke had carried out the commands his royal master 
gave on learning the result of the battle. The lives of the prisoners were 
spared, but their lands were confiscated, and their persons sent to various 
prisons in England. Alan, " who," the mandate adds, " was Earl of Menteith," 
was committed to the custody of Sir John Hastings, to be placed in the 
latter's own Castle of Bergaveny or elsewhere. 1 At the same time the 
portion of the earldom which belonged to him was granted to Sir John 
Hastings. He was the elder brother of that Sir Edmund Hastings who 
married Lady Isabella Comyn, and was in possession of the other portion 
of the earldom of Menteith, as stated in a previous chapter. 

Malise, Earl of Strathern, who was also on the side of Bruce, escaped for 
the time. It was, however, provided that, when he should surrender himself 
or be taken, he should share the fate of the Earl of Menteith, and he was 
afterwards incarcerated in England. He presented a memorial to Edward 
endeavouring to excuse his being found with Bruce. In that memorial he 
relates how unwilling he had been to acknowledge Bruce, and that though 
repeatedly sent for to pay the required homage, he had refused to do so, and 
had only consented to an interview on obtaining letters of safe-conduct; 

1 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. i. p. 995. 



that Bruce having got the Earl of Strathern into his power, had conveyed 
him to Inchmahome, where, however, he still refused the required homage ; 
that Sir Eobert Boyd had then advised the King to take off the Earl's head 
and grant his lands to others, upon hearing which Strathern had yielded, 
acknowledged Bruce as his King, and performed homage ; that he was 
afterwards summoned by Bruce to proceed with him in his expedition 
against Perth, but instead of complying with the summons, had written to 
Sir Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, Edward's governor at Perth, that 
he was ready to come to his assistance ; that Bruce was at Pertli before 
Strathern's arrival, and on his approach sent for him, but he had refused 
to come without hostages being given for his safety, which being granted 
in the persons of the Earl of Menteith and Walter of Moray, the Earl of 
Strathern had a conference with Bruce ; that forfeiture was threatened unless 
he fought against Sir Aymer de Valence, but the Earl of Strathern had said 
he would not bear arms nor assist with advice to the injury of Edward or 
his people, whereupon he had returned and restored the hostages. 1 

Alan Earl of Menteith is said to have died in England during his impri- 
sonment. 2 It is not known whom he married, but he left a daughter, Lady 
Mary, who was styled Countess of Menteith, and married Sir John Graham. 
According to Duncan Stewart he also left a son under age, who died without 
issue, probably before the restoration of the earldom of Menteith after the 
battle of Bannockburn, by which time Sir John Hastings and Sir Edmund 
Hastings had been deprived of it. It then passed into the hands of Sir 
John Menteith, the uncle of Alan, who held it as guardian until Murdach, 
a younger brother of Alan's, succeeded to the earldom and dignity. 

Palgrave's Historical Documents, vol. i. p. 319. 

- History of the Stewarts, p. 208. 





ALICE his Countess. 

HE precise position of this Murdach in relation to the earldom of 
Menteith has given rise to doubts and difficulties on the part of the. 
Peerage writers in dealing with him. Tradition refers to him as the next 
Earl after Alan, but Alan was known to have left no male heir who succeeded 
him in the earldom, and it should therefore have devolved on his daughter, 
the Lady Mary, as in former failures of heirs-male it had descended to the 
female heirs. What, then, was the exact relationship of Earl Murdach to 
Earl Alan ? Murdach himself answers this question in a charter which he 
granted to his kinsman, Walter, son of Sir John Menteith. He there desig- 
nates himself Murdach, Earl of Menteith, son of Sir Alexander, formerly Earl 
of Menteith, which proves him to have been the brother of Earl Alan. Yet 
some explanation is desirable as to how he succeeded to the earldom in 
preference to his niece Lady Mary, the only daughter of Alan, after the 
repeated instances of the inheritance of the earldom by females. On the 
death of her father, Lady Mary was very young, and was therefore taken 
charge of by the Crown as a ward. This appears from the reply by the 
Parliament of Scotland to a letter from the King of France in the year 1308, 
in which it is stated that the heir of the earldom of Menteith is in ward. 1 
Lady Mary was not of sufficient age to assume the care of the earldom, 
and it had not on former occasions prospered in the hands of heiresses. By 
1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 459. 


a family arrangement the earldom was for the time transferred to Murdach, 
the uncle, to revert again to Mary, in the event of her marriage, or of her 
uncle's death without male issue. That it really was restored to Mary is 
shown in the sequel. 

Another feature in the case should not wholly be lost sight of. The 
guardianship of the earldom of Menteith was at this time in the hands of 
Sir John Menteith of Eusky, younger brother of Earl Alexander, and uncle 
of Earls Alan and Murdach. This strengthens the theory of Lady Mary 
being in her nonage when the restoration of the earldom took place after 
the successful attempts of King Eobert the First to regain his crown and 
kingdom, and that the King, recognising the loyalty of Earl Alan, and his 
consequent sufferings, appointed Sir John Menteith guardian of the earldom 
on behalf of Lady Mary Menteith. It would, therefore, probably be by Sir 
John's instrumentality that the arrangement was made, whereby Murdach 
was permitted to assume the title of Earl, while, at the same time, Sir John, 
by the King's appointment, retained the office of guardian, for so he styles 
himself in the letter from the Scottish Barons to the Pope in 1320. 1 

At the time of Earl Alan's death the earldom of Menteith was in the 
hands of the two English brothers, Sir John and Sir Edmund Hastings. 
But the battle of Bannockburn, in 1314, must have terminated their 
connection with the earldom. Indeed, this connection was ignored by the 
Scots, who, as formerly mentioned, considered that the heir of the earldom 
of Menteith was in ward. It seems probable, too, that the two halves of 
the earldom were again united in one, and that Murdach became possessed 
of the whole territorial earldom of Menteith. 

The first mention of Murdach as Earl of Menteith is upon his appearance 
in a Parliament held by King Eobert the First at Scone in 1318, where he 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 474. 


witnessed a deed by the King on the 18th December of that year. 1 From 
King Eobert, Murdach received several grants of lands, but the charters, 
although they appear in the index to the Missing Charters of King Eobert's 
reign, have long since been lost. He received, between 1314 and 1329, the 
baronies of Barnbougle and Dalmeny, forfeited by Eoger of Moubray, and the 
lands of Gilmerton in the county of Edinburgh, which had been forfeited by 
William of Soulis. 2 He also received the lands of Eothiemay, in Banffshire, 
in free barony, and by another charter the half barony of Eothiemay ; 3 and 
by another charter from King Eobert, the lands which belonged to William 
Ferrar, in the shire of Fife. 4 

In an anonymous Latin chronicle of events connected with Scotland 
during the reign of King Edward the Second, quoted by Stevenson, 5 the 
following passage occurs: — "About this year (1320) William of Soulis, 
Patrick of Graham, David of Wemyss, Philip Moubray, Alexander Moubray, 
Murdach of Menteith, and many other nobles of Scotland, conspired against 
King Eobert, but were betrayed by the foresaid Murdach, and certain of 
them were drawn and hanged. Alexander Moubray fled into England. On 
account of this service Murdach was made Earl of Menteith." This account 
of how Murdach obtained the earldom is not sufficiently authentic to warrant 
its acceptance. He was certainly Earl in the year 1318, or two years anterior 
to the event which the chronicle says was the cause of his receiving the 
earldom. King Eobert the Bruce made many grants of land in his readjust- 
ment of the kingdom after the expulsion of the English, and the grants to 
Earl Murdach, although part of the forfeited possessions of the conspirators, 

1 Acta of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 478. 4 Robertson's Index, p. 19. 

2 Robertson's Index, pp. 11, 21. 

3 Registrum Episcopatus Aberdonensis, vol. i. 5 Illustrations of Scottish History, 
p. 157; Robertson's Index, pp. 16, 20. pp. 9, 10. 

VOL. I. N 


are rather a proof of the fidelity with which Murdach, Earl of Menteith, 
had stood by his sovereign in his time of need. He received further gifts 
from King Eobert in the last year of his reign, 1329, as appears from the 
accounts of Eeginald More for that year, who mentions that he gave four 
chalders of wheat to the Earl of Menteith as a gift from the King, and from 
those of Eobert of Peebles, Chancellor of Scotland, who gave to Sir Murdach, 
Earl of Menteith, as a gift from the King, by various letters, £33, 6s. Sd. 1 

In the following year Earl Murdach gave his niece, Lady Mary, whom 
he designated his kinswoman and the only daughter of the late Alan Earl 
of Menteith, the lands of Aberfoil, Drongary, Buchliven, Cumlacht, and 
Buchapil, and ten marks of the land which is called Cath-leine-Mushet. 2 
During his tenure of the earldom Murdach granted the lands of Thome to Sir 
Walter of Menteith, eldest son of Sir John Menteith. The lands of Thome 
formed part of the earldom of Menteith. To Gilbert of Drummond he gave, 
for homage and service, all the western half of the town of Buchchoppill ; and 
to Eobert of Logi, also for homage and service, he gave the lands of Easter 
Brocculi, both of which pertained formerly to the earldom. 3 

The death of King Eobert the Bruce, while his son David was but a 
youth, again placed Scotland under the control of a regency. Eandolph, Earl 
of Moray, was the first Eegent, but he died suddenly, it was suspected by 
poison, while making active preparations for repelling a threatened invasion 
by certain powerful English Barons. In his stead Donald, Earl of Mar, was 
chosen Eegent, but he was unsuccessful in conducting the military operations 
which the attempts of Edward Baliol on the Scottish crown now rendered 
necessary. Baliol had seized the opportunity afforded by the death of King 
Eobert for asserting his own claims to the crown, and had put himself at the 

1 Exchequer Rolls, vol. i. pp. 179, 210. 2 Duncan Stewart's History, p. 208. 

3 Vol. ii. of this work, pp. 227-230. 


head of several Barons who had been disinherited by Bruce for adhering to 
the English King. Two English Barons also leagued themselves with Baliol. 
The invasion was accomplished by their effecting a landing at Ivinghorn in 
Fifeshire, while Mar lay with a large army at a distance without attempting 
to oppose it. Baliol pressed forward to Dunfermline, thence to Strathern, 
receiving large reinforcements in his progress. He found the Earl of Mar 
prepared to meet him with his army drawn up on Dupplin Moor, near Perth, 
while the Earl of March, with another army, threatened his flank from 
Auchterarder. Mar seems to have given up all attempt at discipline amongst 
his soldiers ; no watch was kept, and they were permitted to spend the night 
in feasting and intemperance, even in the close presence of the enemy. On 
the other hand, Baliol was thoroughly on the alert, and, guided by Andrew 
Murray of Tullibardine, who knew the country, attacked the camp of the 
Earl of Mar during the night, when most of his soldiers were heavy with 
sleep and wine. A terrible carnage ensued, and must have ended in the 
total rout of the Scottish army had not Bandolph, Earl of Moray, son of 
the late Regent, and Murdach, Earl of Menteith, with Bobert Bruce and 
Alexander Eraser, hastily rallied their men and driven back the English 
soldiers. By this time morn was breaking, and Mar might have redeemed 
the first loss by crushing the entire force of Baliol, which stood revealed as 
scarce a tenth of the number of his own. The brilliant charge of Menteith 
and his friends afforded opportunity, if it had been taken, for the formation 
of the main body, as any ordinary caution on Mar's part could not have 
failed to secure an easy victory. But, regardless of all order and discipline, 
he fairly hurled his soldiers, in a mixed mass of infantry and horse, at 
Baliol's small band, and such was the impetuosity of their onset that his 
troops trod each other down, and numbers of them were suffocated in the 
inextricable confusion. The English, on the other hand, stood firm in 


their ranks, and hewed down those of their opponents who reached them. 
Mar himself was amongst the slain, and here also fell Murdach, Earl of 
Menteith, with two of his brave comrades, the Earl of Moray and Alexander 
Fraser. This battle of Dupplin took place on the 12th April 1332. Some 
have thought that the Earl of Menteith survived the battle, and fell in 
the following year at Habdon Hill. But Wyntoun mentions distinctly 
Murdach's death at Dupplin, 1 and says nothing about his being at Halidon. 
In this Wyntoun is supported by Walsingham, 2 Fordun, 3 the historians of 
Lanercost, 4 the chroniclers of Pluscarden, 5 and others. 

Murdach, Earl of Menteith, is nowhere stated to have been married, or to 
have left any children ; but there is strong reason for believing that the Alice, 
Countess of Menteith, who is mentioned as a recipient of King Edward the 
Third's bounty, was the wife of Earl Murdach. After his death she had retired 
to England, somewhere near the Borders, and seems to have petitioned the 
English King for assistance, or her case had been represented to him as one 
of necessity. On 20th May 1335, he wrote to his treasurer sympathising 
with the Countess, as having come to his allegiance and dwelling in England, 
and ordered him to pay her twenty-six shillings and eightpence every seven 
months. On the 24th September of the same year, while Edward was at 
Edinburgh, he instructed his treasurer and chancellor to pay ten marks to 
Alice, Countess of Menteith, in payment of her expenses ; and on the 2 7th of 
January following, Bobert de Tong, receiver of the King's victuals at Berwick, 
was commanded to supply victuals to the Countess to the value of ten 
marks, and at the same time her pension was reduced to ten shillings every 
seven months. It was again raised to the former sum, and confirmed to her 

1 Chronicle, vol. ii. pp. 152, 153. 4 Cbronicon, p. 268. 

2 Historia, p. 113. 

3 Seotichronicon, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 305. 6 Liber Pluscardensis, p. 266. 



for life by an order of King Edward's, dated 12th July 1339, and forty 
shillings of arrears were to be paid her by his command of 20th August 
the same year. But the grant of the pension for life was recalled in the 
following year, and was made to depend on the pleasure of the King, the 
mandate, which is dated 20th February, confirming the payment of certain 
arrears. 1 

In the injunction to Eobert de Tong, his officer at Berwick-on-Tweed, 
King Edward states as a reason for his command, that Countess Alice was 
not permitted to receive anything from her estates and goods. 2 This helps 
to corroborate the theory of the agreement made between Murdach and his 
niece Mary, whereby the latter was to receive back the earldom, either on 
Murdach's death or on the occasion of her marriage or coming of age. On 
Murdach's death, therefore, the earldom must have been reclaimed by Mary, 
and Alice, unwilling or unable to retain her position, would be compelled to 
leave the country; and as her nearest refuge, she placed ^herself under the 
protection of the English King. Edward, in granting her the sustenance he 
did, very probably thought that Scotland would soon be in his own power, 
when he would be able to recover, with ample interest, the sums bestowed on 
the Countess, and for which he held her receipts. Of the Countess herself 
we learn no more after 1340. Further than that her name Avas Alice, there 
is no record as to who she was or from what family she was descended. 

1 Rotuli Scotia?, vol. i. pp. 346, 399, 570, 572 ; Rymer's Foedera, vol. ii. pp. 922, 931, 1113. 

2 Ibid. p. 399. 






LADY MARY MENTEITH was the only daughter of Alan, seventh Earl 
of Menteith. The exact date of her birth has not been ascertained, but 
as her father died in the year 1306, she must have been born before or about 
that time. Her early years were not spent in the paternal home, as on her 
father's capture and death the earldom of Menteith had passed into the 
possession of the English. Lady Mary may have been brought up at Rvisky, 
the residence of her granduncle, Sir John Menteith, who at that time was 
a partisan of the English King. This appears the more likely, as she during 
her after-life showed great interest in Sir John's family, and also as he, after 
his reconciliation with King Robert the Bruce, was made guardian of the 

While Lady Mary was still under age, an agreement was entered into by 
which her uncle Murdach obtained the earldom, and held it until his death 
in 1332. This agreement has been referred to in the preceding Memoir. 

At the time of her uncle Earl Murdach's death, Lady Mary must have 
reached mature age, and it may be supposed she at once claimed the earldom. 
Shortly afterwards she married Sir John Graham, one of a family whose 
gallant deeds and devoted loyalty have rendered their name famous in history. 
As the Lady Mary and the knight were related to each other within the 
forbidden degrees, their union was illegal according to ecclesiastical law. 
Application was therefore made on their behalf to Pope John the Twenty- 


second, and on the 1st of May 1334 he granted a dispensation for celebrating 
a new marriage. 1 A translation of the papal document is here given : — 

John, etc. To our venerable brother, [Maurice] Bishop of Dunblane, greeting. 
The circumspect benignity of the apostolic see, sometimes tempering rigour with 
kindness, graciously and mercifully permits what the severity of the law denies, as that 
appears to be healthfully expedient in the Lord, regard being had to the quality of 
persons, places, and times. Forasmuch as on behalf of a beloved son, a noble man, 
Sir John Graham, and of a beloved daughter in Christ, a noble woman, Mary of 
Menteith, of your diocese, there has been presented to us a petition, narrating that 
they, long desiring to be united in matrimony, though they knew that they were 
related in the fourth degree of consanguinity, yet induced by certain sure and real 
causes which have been stated to us, have solemnly contracted marriage, otherwise 
lawful, in face of holy kirk, and have since consummated the same ; seeing also, as 
they assert, that very many scandals and evils might arise if a separation of this 
marriage should be made, they have humbly petitioned us that we would, of our 
apostolic kindness, mercifully deign to provide to them the blessings of absolution from 
the sentence of excommunication which they have hereby incurred, and of dispensation. 
We, therefore, who desire the salvation of souls and the increase of peace and quiet to 
every one, willing also to obviate scandals and evils of this nature, do, by apostolic 
letters, command you, brother, that if it be so, and if it seem to you expedient that 
the said dispensation be granted, with which we burden your conscience, the foresaid 
knight and Mary having been separated for such time as shall seem right to you, you 
may, according to the forms of the Church, absolve them from the sentence of 
excommunication which on the foresaid account they are known to have incurred, it 
being among other things enjoined on them by an oath that they shall not again 
commit the same offence, nor afford help, counsel, or favour to any committing the 
like ; and a salutary penance, and other things which shall of right have been enjoined, 
having been imposed upon the said John and Mary, finally, by the aforesaid authority 
you may dispense with the same, so that, such impediment notwithstanding, they may 

1 Tkeinei-'s Vetera Monumenta, p. 262, Xo. dxv. 


contract a new marriage, and lawfully abide therein, declaring that the offspring 
conceived and to be conceived of the said marriage shall be legitimate. Given at 
Avignon, the first of May, in the eighteenth year of our pontificate [1334]. 

It has not been ascertained from what family of the Grahams this Sir 
John Graham was descended. It is probable that he was the younger son of 
an ancestor of the family of Montrose, Sir Patrick Graham of Kincardine, who 
was killed at Dunbar in 1296. The papal dispensation informs us that he 
was related to the Countess of Menteith in the fourth degree, but this 
furnishes only a vague idea of what the relationship really was. There were 
intermarriages between the families of Graham and Strathern, and between 
Strathern and Menteith, of which we have historical record ; but, on the other 
hand, other matrimonial alliances may have taken place of which we have 
no intimation, bringing the parties within the forbidden degrees. Were it 
possible now to obtain the terms of the petition presented to the Pope for 
this dispensation, the exact state of the relationship might appear, but as it 
is, the question must be left to conjecture. 

As the dispensation was granted in 1334, the Countess and Sir John 
Graham must have been married before that year ; but they were no doubt 
remarried on the arrival of the dispensation, and the expiry of the sentence 
of penance which the Bishop of Dunblane was enjoined to impose. Sir John 
Graham became Earl of Menteith, apparently by courtesy through his wife ; 
but as to this no evidence has been preserved. He held the title for twelve 
years. As Earl of Menteith he witnessed a charter by Eobert the Steward 
of Scotland to William of Douglas of the lands of Bondigiston, Drumcross, 
and Bernes. 1 

While Sir John Graham was Earl of Menteith, the barony of Barnbougle, 
which King Eobert the Bruce had bestowed on Earl Murdach, after the 
1 Registrum Honoris de Morton, vol. ii. p. 35. 


forfeiture of Boger of Moubray, passed again from the Menteith family, 
and after remaining in the hands of King David the Second for a number 
of years, was bestowed by him upon Sir Bartholomew of Loen and his 
wife Philippa of Moubray. It would appear from King David's charter 
that Sir John Graham and Mary, Earl and Countess of Menteith, were 
due the King two thousand marks sterling, for marriage and relief, and 
that they had resigned the barony of Barnbougle with all right and claim 
which they had therein, before the King in Council, at Perth on the 3d of 
May 1346, in return for an acquittance and remission sought and obtained 
from him for that sum. It is provided in the charter that if any heirs 
of the Earl and Countess of Menteith should at any future time challenge 
their renunciation or this gift by the King, such heirs were to pay to Sir 
Bartholomew and his spouse Philippa, or their heirs, the sum of two thousand 
marks before entering on any litigation ; and as a warrandice, the holders of 
the barony were to have right to distrain the earldom of Menteith, with 
all goods found therein, and to apply the same to their own use until the 
money was paid. This they might do without obtaining a licence from the 
King or his heirs. 1 

Towards the close of the year 1346, the Earl of Menteith accompanied 
his sovereign, King David the Second, to the north of England. David had 
not long returned from the French Court, whither he had been sent by the 
Estates of Scotland until the country had been rendered more safe for his 
reception, and when Philip, King of Prance, was being hardly pressed in the 
war waged against him by Edward the Third of England, King David resolved 
to give assistance to Prance by creating a diversion in England. He accord- 
ingly collected an army at Perth, and marched to the Borders, where he 
reduced several strongholds occupied by the English, and wasted part of their 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 247. 

VOL. I. 


territory. Afterwards, in opposition to the warnings and remonstrances of 
Sir William Douglas, the chivalrous knight of Liddesdale, who knew by 
experience the strength of the northern English Barons, David led his army 
across the Border, and encamped in the vicinity of the town of Durham. 
Meanwhile the English had gathered together what forces they could, and 
a large body of soldiers which had been collected to embark for the 
Continent was sent to the north. The neighbouring prelates, too, brought 
their retainers, and a considerable army was raised, which advanced to meet 
the invading troops of the Scottish King. 

The presence of the English army was unknown to the Scottish leaders 
until the knight of Liddesdale, while on a foraging expedition, accidentally 
came upon them on the morning of the 1 7th October. Douglas, taken by 
surprise, retreated to the main body, with considerable loss, and the Scottish 
army was hastily disposed in order of battle to resist the English, who were 
now advancing upon them. Unhappily, however, King David's position was 
ill chosen, as it permitted the English to get close to the Scots without 
being seen. The English archers were almost within bowshot, when the 
Earl of Menteith, observing the danger, strongly urged the King to send a 
body of cavalry to charge the bowmen in flank. His advice was disregarded, 
and as the danger grew more imminent, and the archers were about to shoot, 
he cried, " Give me but an hundred horse, and I engage to disperse them all, 
so we shall be able to fight more securely." His appeal being still unheeded, 
the Earl hastily leaped on his horse, and followed by his own retainers, 
rushed upon the advancing archers. But the first flight of arrows had 
already sped, and the gallant Graham was too feebly supported to effect the 
dispersion of the bowmen. He fought bravely but vainly against odds, and 
was compelled to retreat at considerable risk and without his horse,, which 
had been killed under him. King David's unfortunate refusal of the Earl's 


request helped to insure the disastrous defeat of the Scots. A cavalry 
engagement with the bowmen would have given the King time to complete 
the disposition of his troops, but as it was, the galling fire of the arrows 
rendered that more difficult, and before the Scots were ready the English 
horsemen and footmen were upon them. Their divisions were broken up 
and scattered, thousands of the Scottish soldiers were laid dead and dying on 
the field, and many of David's barons and nobles were made prisoners. The 
battle, after three hours' fighting, was terminated by the capture of the 
Scottish King himself. The Earl of Menteith, also, was amongst the 
prisoners, having fought hard in what he must have felt to be a useless 
struggle, since the first opportunity was lost. The Earl's gallant conduct 
in this battle is graphically described by Wyntoun in the following lines : — 

The Inglis archerys conie so nere, 

That wyh to thame welle nere myeht thai. 

Than gud Schyre Jhone the Gr£me can say 
To the Kyng, " Gettis me, but ma, 
Ane hundyre on hors wyth me to gd. 
And all yhone archerys skayle sail I : 
Swa. sail we fecht mare sykkerly." 
Thus spak he, bot he mycht get nine. 
His hors in by than has he tane, 
And hym allane amang thame ride, 
And rwdly rowme about hym made. 
Qwhen he a qwhile had prekyd thare, 
And sum off thame had gert sow sare, 
He to the battaylis rade agayne. 
Sa fell it, thai his hors hes slayne. 1 

The chronicler adds that Menteith was taken with other Scottish Earls. 

1 Wyntoun's Cronykil, vol. ii. p. 202. 


Along with King David and the other prisoners the Earl was conveyed to 
London, and incarcerated in the Tower by order of King Edward the Third, 
who at that time was absent in France conducting the siege of Calais. The 
order was dated 8th December 1346. Thomas d'Everwyk (York) was named 
custodier of the Earl of Menteith, and promise was made that he should be 
indemnified for his charges. On the 2 2d February following, Edward and 
his Council at Calais issued an order to Galfrid of Wychingham, Mayor of 
London, and other three with him, to sit in judgment on the Earls of Menteith 
and Fife. The former was charged with breach of his oath of fidelity made to 
the King of England, of whose Council he had been a member, and both with 
breach of allegiance sworn to Edward Baliol, by rising in arms. The Earls 
were also charged with causing the bloodshed and destruction consequent upon 
the war. Along with this order, and bearing the same date, was transmitted 
a schedule of the judgment which the English King and his Council had 
decided should be the finding of the court, that the Earls should be convicted 
of being traitors, and as such attainted, drawn, hanged, beheaded, and their 
bodies quartered, their heads placed on London Bridge, and the quarters of 
their bodies sent to the four principal towns of the north — York, Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne, Carlisle, and Berwick — to be there hung in chains for an example 
and terror to traitors. It was further ordered that this sentence should be 
executed on Sir John Graham, Earl of Menteith, but that Duncan, Earl of Fife, 
should for the present be spared because of his blood relationship to the 
King. 1 On 22d February the King granted the order at Calais ; a few days 
thereafter the court sat and gave decree in terms of his Majesty's remit, 
and before the 6th of March the sentence had been carried out in all its 
ghastly cruelty. On that day orders were issued in the King of England's 
name for the disposal of Menteith's remains, and two days afterwards 
1 Eymer's Fiedera, vol. iii. p. 108. 


Edward's treasurer and the Barons of the Exchequer received orders to pay 
the expenses incurred in the trial and execution. 1 

Thus died Sir John Graham, Earl of Menteith. Condemned as a 
traitor by a foreign King, he was such a traitor as was Sir "William 
Wallace, who died in the defence of his country's independence. One 
of the many Scotchmen who perished in the fatal grasp of the Edwards 
of England, the bravery displayed by Sir John Graham at the battle of 
Durham, his consistent and courageous devotion to the cause of his country, 
and his final martyrdom, embalm his memory in the annals of the Earls 
of Menteith. 

After this tragic termination of her husband's career, the Countess Mary 
possessed the earldom of Menteith for a considerable time, during which 
hostilities arose among the neighbouring families of Menteith, Drummond, 
and Campbell of Argyll, which proved fatal to members of both the houses of 
Menteith and Drummond. The Menteiths especially suffered severely, no 
fewer than three brothers having been slain, with a number of their followers. 
At length King David the Second interposed, and persuaded the parties to 
come to an amicable agreement. The agreement is printed among the 
charters in the second volume. 2 

It was entered into on Sunday the 17th of May 1360, on the banks of 
the Forth, near Stirling, in presence of Sir Eobert Erskine and Sir Hugh 
Eglinton, justiciars of Scotland, accompanied by Sir Patrick Graham and 
many other noblemen and gentlemen. On the one side was John of 
Drummond, and on the other side were John and Alexander, brothers of the 
late Walter Menteith. The enmities and discords which had sprung up 
between these families were finally put to rest by the following arrangements. 

1 Eymer's Foedera, vol. iii. p. 110 ; Rotuli Scotite, vol. i. pp. 6S9, 690. 

2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 239. 


To compensate for the slaughter of Walter, Malcolm, and William, brothers 
of John and Alexander Menteith, and their men and adherents, slain by 
John of Drummond and his men or adherents, as also for all injuries done 
by John of Drummond, Maurice his brother, and Walter of Moray, or others 
his men and adherents, to the brothers or their friends up to the date of 
this agreement, John of Drummond granted the lands of Eosneath in the 
earldom of Lennox to Sir Alexander Menteith and his heirs. It was specially 
provided that though in the charter mention was made of homage and 
service, according to common form, yet Sir Alexander Menteith should not 
be required to perform any service except suit and homage. It was also 
agreed that if Sir Alexander Menteith should prefer his late brother Walter's 
nearest heir to succeed him in the lands of Eosneath rather than his own 
children, that heir should be entitled to the lands. 

The lands of Eosneath had been granted by Countess Mary in her 
widowhood to John of Drummond, and they were only now restored to the 
family of Menteith. The charter by John of Drummond to Sir Alexander 
Menteith was confirmed by Walter of Fasselane, Earl of Lennox, and after- 
wards by King Eobert the Second at St. Andrews, on 30th March 1372. 
In the royal confirmation it was provided that the lands should be held 
by the said Alexander and his heirs, as freely and quietly as they had 
been held under the charter or letter of the deceased Countess of Men- 
teith by the deceased John of Drummond, and other writs following 
thereupon. 1 

In the agreement John of Drummond became security for himself 

and his heirs, his brother Maurice, Walter of Moray, and all others his 

friends, relatives, and adherents for whom he could be responsible, that 

no further harm should be done by them to the Menteiths or their 

1 Eegistrum Magni Sigilli, pp. 113, 114. 


friends, and that no animosity should be kept up by them for any wrongs 
they had received. 

John of Drummond also became security that Gillespie and Kessan, 
called Macghilecharrick, Donald son of Gilbert, Duncan son of Nigel, and all 
others who had been present at the murder of Brice the procurator, should 
be unmolested by him or those for whom he was surety on account of that 
murder, or any other irregularities committed by them. If, however, any 
other kinsmen of the said Brice chose to prosecute for his death, it should 
be quite open to them to do so in form of law. 1 In the same manner, 
Finlay son of Ay was assured by Sir John that no harm should be done 
to him by any of his friends on account of anything he had clone. 

On the other hand, John and Alexander Menteith pledged themselves to 
remain in cordial friendship with John of Drummond and his party. In 
addition, Walter of Buchanan, nephew of the late Walter Menteith, firmly 
bound himself by oath, that he, his heirs and dependants, would faithfully 
observe this treaty. 

The Menteiths were unable to give security for Gillespie Campbell and 
his son Colin or their adherents, but they obliged themselves that if the 
Campbells rebelled against John of Drummond, they would defend him 
with all their might, and as often as there should be occasion. They further 
obliged themselves that so soon as the true and nearest heir of the late 
Walter Menteith came of lawful age, they would cause him to make, at his 
own trouble and expense, letters under his seal, in all points similar to the 
present, and deliver them to John of Drummond and his heirs. In the 
event of this not being done, the lands of Bosneath were to revert to John 
of Drummond and his heirs irredeemably, and the Menteiths were to be in 

1 Brice Drummond is said to have been a cousin of John of Drummond, and to have 
been slain in 1330. Malcolm's Memoir, p. 29. 


the position in which they were before the making of this agreement. If 
by any rashness or deceit the Menteiths should slay or procure the death of 
John of Drumniond, or any of his friends or men, for any cause arising prior 
to this compact, he who committed or favoured the commission of such a 
deed was to be shunned in every court and assembly as infamous, and to 
be deprived of all knightly honours. So should it be done also to any who 
failed to take part with John of Drummond and his friends in the defence of 
this treaty, and specially if Sir Alexander Menteith neglected to do so, the 
lauds of Rosneath were to be restored to John of Drummond and his heirs for 
ever. Finally, both parties, laying aside every suspicion and dissimulation, 
bound themselves to each other sincerely to maintain in all time to come 
these bonds of mutual love, as if there had never been any dissension 
between them. To complete their agreement, John of Drummond, Maurice 
his brother, and Walter of Moray, on the one part, and John and Sir 
Alexander Menteith and Walter of Buchanan, on the other, personally and 
severally, gave their oaths by touching the gospels. 

Moreover, Robert, High Steward of Scotland, Earl of Strathern, for himself 
and his heirs, as the principal relative of both parties, the Earls of Douglas 
and Angus, and Sir John Menteith of Arran, dismissed all enmity which they 
had against John of Drummond and his friends for the slaughter of Walter, 
Malcolm, and William Menteith, their kinsmen ; and at the instance of the 
brothers, as well as for the sake of concord, they promised to refrain from 
further pursuit of the quarrel. This treaty of peace they confirmed in all 
points as laudable, acceptable, and thoroughly useful ; and they undertook 
that if either of the parties infringed the same, they would rise together 
against that party with their power and counsel. For greater evidence of all 
the premises, duplicates of the agreement were made, one for either party, 
and the said Lords caused their seals to be appended to them. To the 


duplicate remaining with John of Drummond, John and Alexander Menteith 
and Walter of Buchanan appended their seals ; and to the one remaining in 
the hands of John and Alexander Menteith, John of Drummond, his brother 
Maurice, and Walter of Moray appended their seals. ' An additional clause 
provided that if John Menteith or his nephew Walter should be moved by 
any cause or resentment for prior events to seek the death of John of 
Drummond or any of his friends, or if they should not assist them against 
any of their party who should perpetrate such a crime, on the fact being 
proved, the lands of Kosneath should revert in perpetuity to John of 
Drummond and his heirs, as before provided in regard to Sir Alexander 

This indenture reveals in plain terms the insecure state in which the 
early feudal customs placed life and property in the time of the early Stewart 
Kings, while it also informs us of the means by which the fierce feuds, 
which from jealousy and other causes not ^infrequently broke out between 
neighbouring families, were met and overcome. Such contentions were 
often difficult to quell, and too frequently lasted until one or both sides had 
paid the cost in their best blood. Once begun, they were seldom confined to 
the families in which they originated, and in the present instance the 
Campbells of Argyll and others had become involved. Matters had thus 
assumed an aspect sufficiently grave to require the prompt interference of 
the royal authority, and it is gratifying to find that in this case the concilia- 
tory measures proposed were successful in securing a lasting harmony 
between the two families of Menteith and Drummond. 

It was evidently with reluctance, however, that John of Drummond 
parted with the lands of Eosneath, but they never reverted to him or his 
heirs. By the charter of King Bobert the Second before mentioned, they 
were confirmed to Sir Alexander Menteith in 1372. In 1455 the lands were 

VOL. I. P 


annexed to the crown along with the castle of Dumbarton, 1 and Colin, first 
Earl of Argyll, Chancellor of Scotland, received them by a charter under the 
Great Seal on 9th January 1489. 2 Rosneath is now the property of the 
Duke of Argyll, as the representative of the Chancellor. 

The Countess Mary took an active part in the settlement of these 
family feuds. She made large grants out of her own earldom of Menteith, 
presumably for the purpose of securing the acquiescence and support of 
Gillespie Campbell and his son Colin to the agreement. It was a considerable 
sacrifice to make, but as the Campbells were independent of both parties to 
the agreement, it was the only way in which they could be won over. By 
one charter the Countess granted to Archibald or Gillespie Campbell, son to 
Sir Colin Campbell of Lochaw, all her lands of Kilniun in Cowal, to be held 
of herself and her heirs, feu, for payment of a pair of Parisian gloves at the 
fair of Glasgow, if the same were asked. 3 By another charter Mary, Countess 
of Menteith, granted to the same Archibald Campbell all the lands within 
the barony of Cowal which she held of the Steward of Scotland, to wit, the 
lands of Keanlochkilmun, Correikmore, Stronvonag, Correntie, Bernicemore, 
and Stronnahunseon, to be held of the Countess and her heirs, feu, for 
payment of a silver penny at the fair of Glasgow, if it were asked. 4 Of these 
charters, neither bears the date or place at which it was granted, but the 
latter was confirmed by King David the Second on 25th May 1360, and the 
former on 11th October 1361. 5 

The Countess Mary further exerted herself in the matter of the agreement 
so much, that a marriage had been arranged and had actually taken place, 
prior to the date of the agreement, between her daughter, Lady Margaret 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. ii. 3 Argyll Inventory, vol. i. p. 323. 
p. 42. 4 Ibid. p. 323. 

2 Argyll Charters. 5 Ibid. p. 324. 


Graham, and John Drurnmond. This marriage is distinctly stated to have 
heen arranged in the interests of peace. 

Lady Margaret Graham was, so far as is known, the sole issue of the 
marriage between Mary, Countess of Menteith, and Sir John Graham. 
Being the heiress to the earldom of Menteith, she was the object of much 
attention from the Earls and Barons of Scotland, and a lady of many 
marriages. Her romantic career is noticed in the following chapter. 

The last we hear of the Countess Mary is in the arrangement of her 
daughter's fourth marriage with Bobert Stewart, son of the High Steward. 
In the dispensation granted by the Bope on 9th September 1361 for this 
marriage, mention is made of an agreement between their parents. The only 
surviving parent of the lady was her mother the Countess Mary, and Bobert 
Stewart was the third son by Elizabeth Mure of Bobert Stewart, Earl of 
Strathern, afterwards King Bobert the Second. 

The Countess Mary died probably soon after this. The precise date of 
her death has not been ascertained, but it must have been prior to 1372, as 
in the charter of confirmation, dated in that year, by King Bobert the Second 
to Sir Alexander Menteith of the lands of Bosneath, she is mentioned as 
deceased. The actual place of her sepulchre is also unknown, but it was 
probably in the family burial-place in the Briory of Inchmahome, or in the 
Abbey of Cambuskenneth. 









1334— circa 1380. 

LADY MAEGAEET GEAHAM was the only daughter of the heroic 
Sir John Graham, Earl of Menteith, and his Countess Lady Mary 
Menteith, and being also their only child she inherited the earldom, before or 
about the year 1360. 

The history of this heiress of the earldom of Menteith is both interesting 
and romantic. She was four times married, and she received five dis- 
pensations from the Pope to enable her to enter into her successive 
matrimonial alliances. Two of these marriages occurred before Lady 
Margaret had attained the age of twenty years. From her second husband, 
Thomas, Earl of Mar, she was unjustly divorced. Her third marriage, which 
was made for the sake of healing the fierce feuds between the Menteiths and 
Drummonds, caused her to incur ecclesiastical censure, and by her fourth 
marriage she carried the earldom of Menteith back to the race of her maternal 
ancestors the Stewarts. Her fourth husband, Eobert Stewart, Earl of 
Menteith, became also Earl of Fife, then the premier earldom of Scotland, 
and Lady Ma.rgaret thus became the senior Countess in the realm. She, 


however, did not survive to be Duchess of Albany, as she predeceased her 
husband before he was created Duke of Albany in 1398. 

Lady Margaret Graham was born probably before 1334, the year in 
which the dispensation was granted to her parents for a new celebration of 
their marriage, as reference is made in that writ to the children already 
born. She was brought up by her parents under the ancestral roof, which 
is supposed to have been the castle of Doune or Talla. When her father 
left his home to follow the standard of King David into England, from which 
expedition he never returned, Lady Margaret was little more than twelve 
years of age. 

The death of her father had an important bearing on the destinies of the 
young heiress, and led to events which might not have taken place had 
he lived. Deprived of her natural protector, even though her mother still 
lived, she was at the mercy of circumstances, and exposed to the schemes 
of intriguers, who were never wanting when so great an earldom was to 
be acquired by marriage. To escape their schemes, and following the 
custom then in vogue of early marriages of heiresses, it was arranged during 
the year 1348, while as yet Lady Margaret had only attained her fourteenth 
year, that a marriage should be celebrated between her and Sir John 
Moray, Lord of Bothwell. The proposals for the union were favourably 
received at Court. One obstacle, however, stood in the way; the con- 
tracting parties were related to each other within the forbidden degrees, and 
to remove that impediment recourse was had by petition to the supreme 
pontiff for a dispensation. The Queen of Scotland interested herself in 
the marriage to such an extent that her Majesty presented a separate petition 
to the Pope to induce him to grant the necessary dispensation. The result 
in such circumstances could not be doubtful. Pope Clement the Sixth gave 
the necessary apostolic authority to the Bishop of Moray to permit the 



marriage of Sir John Moray and Lady Margaret. What the relationship 
was which delayed the marriage it is difficult now to discover ; the dis- 
pensation merely states that the parties were descended from the same 
family, hut their parentage cannot be traced with certainty. The difficulty 
was overcome, and the marriage duly celebrated. A translation of the papal 
. dispensation is subjoined : — 

Clement, etc. To our venerable brother, [John] Bishop of Moray, greeting, etc. 
A petition on behalf of our beloved son a noble young man, John of Moray, and our 
beloved daughter in Christ, a noble woman, Margaret of Graham, a damsel, daughter of 
our beloved son, a noble man, John of Graham, Earl of Menteith, who belong to your 
diocese and the diocese of Dunblane, has lately been laid before us, representing that 
the said John of Moray and Margaret desire to be united together in matrimony ; but 
because through descent from the same family they happen to be related within the 
fourth degree of consanguinity, they cannot contract this marriage without obtaining 
our apostolic dispensation in the matter ; wherefore, on their behalf, humble 
supplication has been made to us that we would vouchsafe to provide for them by 
the ready benefit of a dispensation : We, therefore, yielding to the supplications of 
our very dear daughter in Christ, [Joanna,] illustrious queen of Scotland, humbly 
entreating us concerning this matter, and to those of John of Moray and Margaret 
foresaid, and for certain causes explained to us, do, by apostolic letters, command you, 
brother, that if it is so, you may, by our authority, grant a dispensation, so that 
notwithstanding the impediment which has arisen out of this consanguinity, the said 
John of Moray and Margaret may be free to contract marriage, and after it shall have 
been contracted, lawfully to abide therein ; declaring that the offspring to be 
conceived of the said marriage shall be legitimate. Given at Avignon, the 21st 
November, in the seventh year of our pontificate (1348). 1 

Sir John Moray was the eldest son of Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwell in 
Clydesdale, a brave and resolute warrior, who was for some time Eegent of 

1 Theiner's Vetera Monunienta, p. 290, No. dlxxxix. 


Scotland during the minority of King David the Second. On the death of his 
father in 1338, Sir John became Lord of Bothwell, and succeeded to the 
hereditary office of panetarius or chief butler of Scotland, which had been 
conferred on the family of the Morays of Bothwell by King Alexander the 
Third. After his marriage with Lady Margaret Graham, Sir John received 
one hundred marks sterling from Master John of Inverness, chancellor of the 
church of Moray, who desired to found a chaplainry in that church for the 
weal of his own soul and the soul of Sir Andrew Moray of good memory. 
In return Sir John Moray obliged himself and his heirs to pay to the founder 
of the chaplainry and his assignees an annual rent of eight marks from the 
dues of his lands of Artrelly and Croy, or if the money could not be uplifted 
from these lands, it might be taken from any lands which he held from the 
bishop and church of Moray, with consent of the bishop and his chapter. 
This charter was granted by Sir John Moray at Elgin, on the 11th of April 
1351. 1 

Master John of Inverness thereupon, on 20th April, by a formal deed, 
apportioned the eight marks in the following manner : Six marks annually 
to the chaplain who should perform masses for his soul, the souls of his 
father and mother, the soul of Sir Andrew Moray, the father of Sir John, 
and the souls of all the faithful departed, at the altar of the holy cross in 
the church of the Holy Trinity at Elgin ; two shillings and eightpence to the 
treasurer to provide bread, wine, and wax for the officiating chaplain; ten 
shillings to be distributed annually on the granter's anniversary, and ten 
shillings on the anniversary of Sir Andrew Moray, to those chaplains and 
vicars who were personally present at their funeral obsequies, but entirely 
excluding those who were absent or who did not come in time ; two shillings 
for the lighting of the holy cross, and two shillings for the lighting of the 

1 Registrum Moraviense, p. 296. 


blessed Virgin Mary, so that the church and keepers of the lights should be 
bound to place four lighted wax candles round the tomb of Sir Andrew Moray 
when they celebrated year by year his funeral obsequies on his anniversary. 1 

In a charter granted by Muriella of Doune, widow of Sir William Eose of 
Kilravock, and daughter of the late Andrew of Doune, to her second son 
Andrew of Eose, of her part of the lands of Killayne and Pitfure, within 
the barony of Avach, she states that the grant is made with assent, 
consent, and licence of a noble man, her overlord, John of Moray, Lord of 
Bothwell and of Avach ; and in a duplicate of the same charter she styles 
Sir John Moray "Earl of Menteith and Panitarius of Scotland." 2 It is 
somewhat difficult to understand how Sir John came to bear the title of Earl 
of Menteith, seeing that Lady Mary Menteith, the mother of Lady Margaret 
Graham, was still alive and bearing the title of Countess of Menteith. 
Perhaps it was merely accorded to him as a courtesy title by his dependants 
on account of his marriage with the heiress of Menteith, for he is not styled 
Earl of Menteith in any of the public documents of the time. Had it been 
the usual custom on marrying titled heiresses for the husbands at once to 
assume the title, we should have expected the succeeding husbands of Lady 
Margaret to be styled Earls of Menteith likewise. Of this, however, there is 
no evidence; but the fact of Sir John Moray being so designated in that 
charter proves that he was the husband of Lady Margaret Graham. 

It is also interesting to note that Lady Margaret Graham assumed the 
surname of her husband as well as the title of Countess of Menteith. King- 
David the Second confirmed at Scone, on 12th November 1362, an undated 
charter by Margaret of Moravia, Countess of Menteith, to John Drummond 
of Concraig, of the lands of Aberfoyle, lying within the earldom of Menteith. 3 

1 Registrum Moraviense, p. 298. 2 Rose of Kilravock, p. 116. 

3 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 246. 


Sir John Moray died either towards the close of the year 1351, or in the 
beginning of the following year. As he left no children by his wife, Lady 
Margaret Graham, he was succeeded by his younger brother, Thomas Moray 
of Bothwell. 

The hand of Lady Margaret was soon afterwards sought in marriage by 
Thomas Earl of Mar. He was the last male heir of the very ancient race 
of Mar, Earls of Mar, and is commonly called the thirteenth Earl. As in 
the former marriage, there existed some blood relationship, now untraceable, 
between Lady Margaret and the Earl of Mar, which delayed their union until 
the Church could dispense with the impediment. But the Earl, eager for 
an alliance with the heiress of so ancient an earldom as Menteith, made 
personal application to Borne for the removal of all hindrances. The Earl's 
petition to Bope Clement the Sixth appears to have set forth that he could 
not readily find in all Scotland any other match so becoming his rank. The 
Bope granted the prayer of the petition by a formal dispensation for the 
marriage, of which the following is a translation : — 

Clement, etc. Unto a beloved son, a noble man, Thomas Earl of Mar, and a 
beloved daughter in Christ, Margaret, widow of the late John of Moray, of the diocese 
of Aberdeen, greeting. The watchful providence of the apostolic see, tempering 
at times the rigour of justice with kindness, with gracious benignity permits what the 
institutes of the sacred canons forbid, regard being had to the quality of the persons 
and the times, as may appear usefully expedient in the Lord. Forasmuch as your 
petition laid before us showed that you, son Earl, cannot readily find in all the 
kingdom of Scotland, whence you are sprung, any woman but thee, daughter Margaret, 
with whom you may marry as becomes your rank, and that you accordingly desire to 
be united in marriage, but because you are related in the third and fourth degrees of 
affinity, you cannot conveniently nor lawfully fulfil this your desire without obtaining the 
apostolic dispensation thereupon ; wherefore you have humbly besought us that we would 
graciously vouchsafe to provide thereanent by a suitable dispensation : We, therefore, 
VOL. I. Q 


for these and certain other causes explained to us, yielding to these supplications, do, 
by apostolic authority, and by a special gift of grace, by the tenor of these presents, 
dispense, that ye may, notwithstanding the impediment arising from this consanguinity, 
be free to contract marriage, and after it shall have been contracted, to abide lawfully 
therein, declaring that the offspring to be conceived of this marriage shall be 
legitimate. Therefore let no man whatever break this page of our dispensation, or 
oppose it by rash daring, but if any one presume to attempt this let him know that he 
will incur the wrath of Almighty God and the blessed apostles Peter and Paul. 
Given at Avignon, 15th August, in the eleventh year of our pontificate (1352). a 

There exists in the archives of the Vatican at Eome the record of another 
dispensation for the marriage of Thomas Earl of Mar with Lady Margaret 
Graham, which was granted, two years later, hy Pope Innocent the Sixth, the 
successor of Pope Clement, to John Eait, Bishop of Aberdeen. It bears that 
Lady Margaret and the Earl, although related within the forbidden degrees, 
had married without having obtained a dispensation, and this was now 
granted in order to legalise the marriage. No notice is taken of the previous 
dispensation procured directly by the Earl of Mar, which may possibly have 
been lost on its way from Eome to Scotland. In such case the Earl of Mar, 
after waiting some time, may have proceeded to consummate the marriage, 
and afterwards on its being declared to be ecclesiastically unlawful, he may 
have taken the ordinary means to get it legalised. It would also seem that 
the Pope must have overlooked the dispensation granted by his predecessor. 
A translation of this dispensation, of which a copy has been procured from 
the register of Pope Innocent the Sixth, 2 is here given : — 

To [our] venerable brother, John, Bishop of Aberdeen, greeting, etc. The petition 
lately shown to us on behalf of a beloved son, a noble man, Thomas, Earl of Mar, and 
a beloved daughter in Christ, a noble woman, Margaret, daughter of the late John, 

1 Theiner's Vetera Monumenta, p. 300, No. dot. 2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 237. 


Earl of Menteith, represented that they, some time ago, unaware of the existence of 
any impediment to their being lawfully married, publicly contracted marriage per verba 
de jn'esenti in face of the church, no one opposing them, and afterwards consummated 
the same ; but that subsequently it came to their knowledge that they were related to 
each other in the fourth degree, for which reason they could not remain in their married 
state without obtaining an apostolic dispensation. Wherefore, humble supplication 
having been made to us on behalf of the said Thomas and Margaret that we would of 
[our] apostolic charity deign in this matter to provide them with the benefit of a 
fitting dispensation, we, who seek the salvation of souls, yielding to the prayers of 
both the foresaid Thomas and Margaret, do, by apostolic writs, for certain causes 
explained to us on their behalf, command and commit to you, brother, from whom we 
receive obedience in the Lord, that if it is so with the said Thomas and Margaret, you 
may, by our authority, grant a dispensation, in order that they may be able lawfully to 
abide in the said marriage notwithstanding the impediment which has arisen from the 
said consanguinity, declaring the offspring conceived and to be conceived of this 
marriage to be legitimate. Given at Villa Nova, in the diocese of Avignon, 29 th May, 
in the second year [of our pontificate], 1354. 

The affection of the Earl of Mar for the young heiress of Menteith, so 
strongly manifested before marriage, does not appear to have lasted after their 
union. On the contrary, he soon after procured a divorce, and his conduct 
in doing so is reprobated in very strong terms by a contemporary historian, 
who attributes the act to diabolical instigation, and alleges that the reasons 
given for the divorce were utterly untrue and mere pretences. 1 The true 
reason for this action is no doubt to be found in the fact that the Earl of 
Mar, naturally desirous of having children of his own to succeed to his old 
and historical earldom of Mar, and finding himself disappointed in this after 
his union with Lady Margaret Graham, as it is recorded that there were no 

1 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 150 : — diabolo, per exquaesitos colores et rationes 
" Thomam comitem de Marr, qui desponsavit minus veras, sine prole inter eos habita 
lieredem de Meneteth ; sed postea instijjante divortium procuravit." 



children of the marriage, separated himself from her, in the hope that by a 
new matrimonial alliance he might yet have an heir. He afterwards married 
Lady Margaret Stewart, Countess of Angus, who was the eldest daughter 
and heiress of Thomas Stewart, second Earl of Angus. But he was again 
disappointed, and died without issue in 1377. 

Thus while yet scarce more than twenty years of age, Lady Margaret 
Graham had already met with many misfortunes. After her divorce 
from the Earl of Mar, she returned to the paternal roof to share with her 
mother, the Countess of Menteith, the more hospitable retirement of her 
home. Events, however, were taking place which were to bring her another 
husband ; deadly feuds existed between the families of Menteith, Drummond, 
and others around, property was destroyed, and three of the sons of Sir 
John Menteith of Eusky had been slain along with their men. We have 
already seen how the Countess Mary bestirred herself to procure a final and 
lasting peace between all parties, and how her daughter Lady Margaret 
also bore her share in the settlement by consenting to espouse the chief of 
the Drummonds. In prospect of this third marriage, the Countess appears 
to have resigned the earldom of Menteith in favour of her daughter. 

John Drummond of Concraig was the eldest son of Sir Malcolm 
Drummond, who is said to have fallen at the battle of Durham in 1346. 
John Drummond had been previously married to Lady Mary of Montifex, 
eldest daughter of Sir William of Montifex, and had several children by her, 
among whom was the illustrious Annabella Drummond, the beautiful Queen 
of King Eobert the Third. Lady Annabella was married to John Stewart 
in 1357, and it was after this near alliance with the crown that King 
David the Second persuaded John Drummond to bring the feuds between 
him and the Menteiths to a peaceful termination. He gave up the lands of 
Eosneath in Dumbartonshire, and was promised in return other lands in 


Perthshire and the office of Abthane of Dull in Athole. The formal 
agreement, as previously shown, was drawn up on 17th May 1360; but 
John Drummond and the young Countess of Menteith were married at least 
in 1359, as apparently by the beginning of 1360 a child had been born of 
the marriage. It was now ascertained that the marriage had been irregular, 
owing to John Drummond and the Countess being related within the for- 
bidden degrees, and recourse was had to the Pope for a dispensation. Thus 
was the Lady Margaret a fourth time made the subject of petition to the 
Pope in reference to her marriage. As on this occasion there had been a 
transgression of the law, a substantial penance was imposed upon John 
Drummond and the Countess, who were required to construct an altar in 
Dunblane Cathedral, and provide annually to the extent of ten marks for 
the services thereof, besides books, furnishings, and other necessaries. They 
were also enjoined to give two poor maidens in marriage, and to endow each 
of them with five marks of silver. The dispensation is interesting, and a 
translation of it is here given : — 

Innocent, etc. To our venerable brother, [Walter ?] Bishop of Dunblane, greeting, 
etc. The order of the petition presented to us on behalf of a noble young man, John 
of Drummond, and a noble woman, Margaret, Countess of Menteith, belonging to your 
diocese, narrated that they, being for a long time past desirous of allaying and setting 
at rest the grievous contentions and enmities which for some time have existed between 
the said John and the kinsmen and friends of the said Margaret at the instigation of 
the enemy of the human race, from which burnings, homicides, and many other evils 
have ensued, desiring also to obviate more grievous dangers and ills which they feared 
were likely to arise therefrom, and to procure a bond of peace between them, the Lord 
granting it, and knowing that they were related in the fourth degree of consanguinity, 
they have in face of the Church contracted marriage together of which they have 
begotten offspring. But seeing, as the said petition related, that if a divorce were to 
take place between them, great scandals, dissensions, wars, enmities, murders, and other 


possible evils might very probably threaten them and their kinsmen and friends, and 
be very damaging as it were to the whole kingdom of Scotland, we have on their 
behalf been humbly besought that we would of our apostolic benignity vouchsafe to 
absolve them from the sentence of excommunication imposed by the canon [law] which 
they have incurred by this procedure, and to provide to them the benefit of a ready 
dispensation thereanent. We, therefore, who cheerfully procure for the faithful of 
Christ the benefits of salvation and peace, striving as much as we may in the Lord to 
prevent such scandals, dissensions, wars, enmities, murders and other evils, and to 
consult the welfare of their souls, yielding to the petitions of the said John and 
Margaret, do, by apostolic letters, command and commit to you, brother, in whom we 
repose special confidence, that if it is so, you may absolve the foresaid John and 
Margaret from the sentence of excommunication according to the forms of the Church, 
and they, having been separated for such time as shall seem good to you in your dis- 
cretion, shall be enjoined upon oath not to commit the like again, nor to afford counsel, 
aid, or favour to any doing the like ; and that if by virtue of these presents you happen 
to dispense with these things, they, within the space of two years, shall cause to be 
constructed, or choose from among those already constructed, in your church of 
Dunblane, one altar, and of their own goods endow the same to the value of ten marks 
of silver of annual and perpetual rent, and with books, furnishings, a house and other 
things necessary to the service of the said altar ; and this notwithstanding, let them, 
within the above-mentioned term, give in marriage two poor maidens, and dower each 
of them with the value of five marks of silver ; and if it seem expedient to you that 
such a dispensation be granted in other things which shall of right have been enjoined, 
as to which we burden your conscience, you may, by apostolic authority, grant dispen- 
sation, that, notwithstanding the impediment which arose from the said consanguinity, 
they may be free to contract marriage, and after it shall have been contracted, to 
abide lawfully therein decerning the offspring conceived and to be conceived of the said 
marriage to be legitimate. But we will that the foresaid altar and benefice may be 
conferred only on a priest who ought to be present in the said church during divine 
service and in canonical hours, and celebrate divine service on the said altar, of which 
altar or benefice the right of patronage ought to belong in perpetuity to the said 


noble persons and their heirs, but the visitation [thereof] to you and your successors, 
who shall be for the time Bishops of Dunblane. Given at Avignon, the 29 th of 
April, in the eighth year of our pontificate, 1360. 1 

John Drummond did not long survive his marriage with the Countess 
of Menteith. He died probably in 1360, as is evident from Lady Margaret's 
being married again in 1361. Notice is taken in the dispensation of a child 
which the Countess had borne to John Drummond, but it has not been 
ascertained whether it survived or died young. Provision, however, was 
made for it in the charter which, as before stated, was confirmed by King 
David on 12th November 1362. That charter has no date, but in it Lady 
Margaret, there designed Margaret of Moray, Countess of Menteith, makes 
a grant of the lands of Aberfoyle to John Drummond of Concraig, and to 
the children begotten between him and her, and to the heirs of the children. 

The fourth and last marriage of Lady Margaret Graham, Countess of 
Menteith, took place in the year 1361 with Robert Stewart, third son by 
Elizabeth Mure of Eobert Stewart, Earl of Strathern, afterwards King Robert 
the Second of Scotland. The marriage was arranged between Lady Mary, 
Countess of Menteith, the mother of the bride, and the parents of Robert 
Stewart, and formed the subject of a contract between them. The Countess 
Margaret and Robert Stewart, however, were hindered from the immediate 
accomplishment of this project by ties of blood relationship, and once more 
tire case of Lady Margaret was laid before the Pope by a petition, in which 
he was besought, for the furtherance of the welfare of the kingdom of 
Scotland, and especially for the weal of the earldoms of Strathern and 
Menteith, as well the clergy as the laity thereof, to grant dispensation for 
the marriage. The Pope gave the required permission on condition that 
Robert Stewart and the Countess of Menteith should found a chapel in the 
1 Thehier's Vetera Monumenta, p. 315, No. dcxl. 


city or diocese of Dunblane, and endow it with an annual rent of twelve 

In the case of this marriage the relationships were complicated by the 
Countess's former marriages, for in addition to the parties themselves being 
related in the fourth degree, Eobert Stewart was said to be connected with 
Sir John Moray and Thomas, Earl of Mar, the first and second husbands of 
the Countess. To the former he was related on both sides, by both father 
and mother, and the connection establishes more firmly the identity of Sir 
John Moray of Bothwell as the husband of the Countess. Eobert Stewart's 
father, the Earl of Strathern, was the son of Walter, High Steward of 
Scotland, and Lady Marjory Bruce, daughter of King Eobert the First. Sir 
Andrew Moray of Bothwell, the father of Sir John, married Lady Christian 
Bruce, the sister of King Eobert. Sir John Moray of Bothwell and Lady 
Marjory Bruce, the grandmother of Eobert Stewart, were therefore cousins. 
What relationship Elizabeth Mure, the mother of Eobert Stewart, bore to Sir 
John Moray is not known, but that a connection existed is evident from the 
terms of the dispensation. The Mures of Eowallan were an Ayrshire family. 

To Thomas, Earl of Mar, Eobert Stewart was said to be related in the 
fourth degree, or on one side only. This probably refers to the marriage of 
Lady Christian Bruce with Gratney, Earl of Mar, the grandfather of Earl 
Thomas. He was her first husband ; Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwell was 
her third. 

The following is a translation of the dispensation by the Pope : — 

Innocent, etc. To our venerable brother, [Walter ?] Bishop of Dunblane, greeting, 
etc. A petition presented to us on behalf of a beloved son, a noble man, Robert, son 
of a beloved son, a noble man, Robert, Earl of Strathern, and a beloved daughter in 
Christ, a noble woman, Blargaret, Countess of Menteith, of the diocese of Dunblane, 
narrated that a treaty was lately made between their parents for securing the common 


weal and safety of the whole realm of Scotland, in which the city and diocese of 
Dunblane are situated, by contracting marriage between the son Robert and the 
Countess foresaid, but because the son Robert and the Countess foresaid are related in 
the fourth degree of consanguinity, and moreover, because the said son Robert is 
related to the late John of Moray in the first degree, and to the late Thomas, Earl of 
Mar, husbands of the said Countess, in the fourth degree, that is to say, to John on 
both sides, and Thomas, Earl foresaid, only on one side, he cannot implement such 
treaty without obtaining an apostolic dispensation thereanent. But seeing that, as the 
said petition subjoins, unless the treaty be carried out, it might be truly feared that all 
manner of dangers would threaten the earldoms of Strathern and Menteith of your 
said diocese, as well the clergy as the people, we have been humbly besought, on behalf 
of the said Robert the son and the Countess, that we would mercifully vouchsafe to 
provide the suitable favour of a dispensation for this. We, therefore, who fervently 
seek the peace and quiet of the faithful in all places, and provide against both evils 
and dangers as much as we are able in the Lord, yielding to these supplications, 
commit to, and by these apostolic writs command you, brother, that if it is so, you may 
by our authority grant a dispensation to the said Robert the son and the Countess, 
who maj r , notwithstanding the impediment arising from the foresaid affinity and 
consanguinity, contract marriage together, and, after it shall have been contracted, 
abide lawfully therein, declaring the offspring to be conceived of such marriage 
legitimate : Provided that Robert the son and the Countess foresaid, within one year, 
to be reckoned from the date of granting the dispensation, shall found and cause to be 
constructed in the city or diocese of Dunblane one chapel to the honour of God, and 
decently endow the same with an annual rent of twelve marks of silver for one 
perpetual chaplain to serve the Lord there. Given at Avignon, the 9 th September, in 
the ninth year of our pontificate (130 1). 1 

Lady Margaret, Countess of Menteith, was accordingly married to Eobert 
Stewart, who thereafter was styled Lord of Menteith, and on his father's 
accession to the crown was created Earl of Menteith. When he acquired, 

1 Theiner's Vetera Monumenta, p. 317, No. dcxlv. 
VOL. I. R 


in 1371, the ancient earldom of Fife, Lady Margaret was still alive, and shared 
with her husband the honours of the two earldoms, as Countess of Fife and 
Menteith ; and at the same time, by the accession of the Earl of Strathern to 
the throne, she was the daughter-in-law of the King of Scotland. It 
was, however, reserved to her successor to share the higher honours of 
her husband as Duke of Albany, but his honours and estates devolved on 
Murdach, second Duke, the son of Countess Margaret. 

The exact date of the Countess's death is not known, but it appears to 
have been about the year 1380, as John, Earl of Buchan, the eldest son of 
Lady Muriella Keith, the second wife of Eobert, Earl of Fife and Menteith, 
had reached man's estate by the year 1406. At the time of her death the 
Countess Margaret would be about forty-six years of age. 

Genealogists generally state that Earl Kobert had one son and five 
daughters by his first wife, Margaret, Countess of Menteith. It is certain 
that Murdach, who succeeded his father, was her son, and that Lady Janet 
Stewart, a daughter hitherto overlooked by genealogists, who was contracted 
in marriage to David of Loen on 20th July 1372, 1 was her daughter; but 
absolute proof has not been obtained that the Countess Margaret was the 
mother of all the other five daughters. The names of all the children of 
Robert, Duke of Albany, will be found at the end of his Memoir. 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 25S. 





ALTHOUGH it was only for a brief period that the earldom of Menteith 
- gave to Sir Robert Stewart the exclusive designation by which he 
was at first known among the barons of Scotland, he was, during the greater 
part of his long life, the owner and lord of that earldom. Its fortunes 
were therefore bound up with his, and it is proper, on that account, that 
some notice should be taken of this illustrious nobleman. The higher, and 
perhaps in the case of the earldom of Fife, more ancient dignities to which 
Sir Robert Stewart afterwards attained, rather eclipsed his connection 
with the earldom of Menteith, and he is less known in history as Earl of 
Menteith than as Earl of Fife and Duke of Albany. 

Various other considerations render it highly desirable that the life of this 
Earl of Menteith should be inquired into with as great minuteness as the 
annals of the time in which he lived will permit. The high position which 
he occupied in the Scottish Court, the influence he wielded in the disposal 
of State affairs as Earl of Fife and Menteith, Duke of Albany, and Governor 
of Scotland, as well as his near relationship to the four monarchs who reigned 
during his long life, all tended to make him more of a sovereign than a 
subject. The story of his life embraces the history of Scotland for nearly 
eighty years of an eventful period. In his time the dynasty of the Bruces 


came to an end, and was replaced by that of the Stewarts, of which he 
himself was for long the mainstay. A prince and statesman of snch 
prominence could not fail to secure a high place in history, and to have his 
character variously estimated by historians. Contemporary writers, to whom 
he was well known, have extolled his character as one of great excellence, 
while later writers, both of history and romance, have not hesitated to make 
his vices more than counterbalance his virtues. 

The most untoward events in his long administration of the royal 
authority were the death of his eldest nephew, David, Duke of Eothesay 
and Prince of Scotland, and the long captivity of his youngest nephew, 
Prince James, afterwards King James the First. Of the death of Eothesay, 
both the Duke of Albany and the Earl of Douglas were openly accused, 
but after full investigation were both acquitted by the King and Parliament. 

A conviction that the character of this distinguished prince has been 
misapprehended in many important particulars, has led to the full, if 
somewhat protracted, details which form this Memoir. They are given 
that the reader may judge for himself of the true character of Albany. 

Sir Eobert Stewart, as formerly stated, was the third son of Eobert 
Stewart, Earl of Strathern, afterwards King Eobert the Second, by his wife 
Elizabeth More, daughter of Sir Adam More, knight, of Eowallau. He has 
been commonly considered as the second son of the Earl of Strathern, but 
this is a mistake. The first son was John, who was created Earl of Carrick, 
and afterwards succeeded his father on the throne of Scotland as King 
Eobert the Third ; the second was Walter, who by his marriage with Lady 
Isabella, styled Countess of Fife, became Lord of Fife, but died about the 
year 1362, while yet a young man. A charter was granted by David the 
Second to Eobert, High Steward of Scotland, of the lands of Kintyre, with 
the advocation of the kirks thereof in fee ; and to John Stewart, his son 


by Elizabeth More, and failing John, to Walter his second brother. 1 Walter 
Stewart, Lord of Fife, in the year 13G2, received from the Chamberlain, 
by command of the King, the sum of £6, 13s. 4d. 2 On account of his early 
death Walter Stewart had not the same opportunities of distinguishing 
himself as his brothers, and has thus been overlooked by historians, who 
have given to Eobert the position of second son, while in reality lie was 
the third. 

Sir Eobert Stewart was born in 1339. His father, who was hereditary 
High Steward of Scotland, had been appointed sole governor of the realm 
after the death of Sir Andrew Moray in the previous year, 1338, when the 
country was again struggling for liberty. Of Sir Eobert we find nothing on 
record before he had reached his twenty-second year, but it is probable that 
as soon as he was able to bear arms he accompanied his father in some 
of his excursions against the English. 

He married Lady Margaret Graham, styled Countess of Menteith, in 
the year 1361. The arrangements for the marriage have already been 
related in the preceding Memoir. After his marriage Sir Eobert became 
Lord of Menteith, and was known by that designation among the barons 
of Scotland. His position was one of power and influence, and according 
to the feudal customs of those times, he entered into leagues and bonds, 
offensive and defensive, with neighbouring barons. One such bond had 
been made by him with his father the High Steward, as appears from the 
renunciation by the latter of all such bonds and leagues, when he swore 
allegiance to King David on 14th May 1363, at Inchmurdach. 3 In the 
year 1364 Eobert Stewart of Menteith received £10 from the Chamberlain 
by gift of the King. 4 The Lord of Menteith was one of the barons 

1 Robertson's Index, p. 60. 3 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 369. 

2 Chamberlain Accounts, vol. i. p. 396. 4 Chamberlain Accounts, vol. i. p. 411. 


elected by the three Estates of the realm to hold a Parliament at Scone 
on the 27th of September 1367, where the ways and means of paying the 
remaining portion of the redemption money of King David the Second 
were discussed. He was also present in the Parliaments held at Scone and 
Perth in 1368 and 1369. 1 

The turbulent spirit of the Highlanders was then, and for long afterwards, 
a source of great perplexity and annoyance to both King and Parliament. 
On two occasions, at the Parliaments of June 1368 and March following, the 
Lord of Menteith was charged by King David in person to stand to his 
allegiance and further the peace of the realm by maintaining order in the 
earldom of Menteith, and any other lands of which he was superior. His 
father the High Steward, and his brother, John, Lord of Kyle, were charged 
by the King in like manner at the same time, and all promised obedience 
to his wishes. 2 The reason for this demand on them was not any 
disaffection on their part, or on the part of their vassals, but the relationship 
in which they stood to John, Lord of the Isles, who, with some other 
Highland chiefs, was in open rebellion against the King, and refused 
to allow his people to pay their share of the heavy public burdens. The 
Lord of the Isles was the brother-in-law of the Lord of Menteith, having 
married his sister, Lady Margaret Stewart, a daughter of the Earl of 
Strathern ; and it was on account of this relationship, as well as the 
contiguity of the lands of Menteith, Strathern, and Kyle, that the lords 
of these lands were looked to by the King as having it in their power to 
pacify or restrain the recalcitrant Lord of the Isles. 

In the Parliament of 1368 a case was brought judicially under the notice 
of the King, in which the opposing parties were the Lord of Menteith and 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. pp. 501-506. 

2 Ibid. pp. 503, 507. 


Sir Archibald Douglas. The Lord of Menteith complained to the King that 
Sir Archibald Douglas was withholding a terce which was due to his wife 
from lands held by Sir Archibald, and requested that the King would cause 
right and justice to be done. Sir Archibald, he said, had promised, in the 
hearing of his Majesty, when they were lately at Aberdeen, to be present 
at this Parliament and arrange the matter. The King put the question to 
Sir Archibald Douglas, who replied that he was willing and prepared to do 
whatever he was rightfully and reasonably bound to perform, or had promised 
to his Majesty ; but he did not believe that he was under legal obligation 
to do what was required of him in this Parliament, or that he had promised 
to do so. Still, he added, if it was his Majesty's pleasure, or if the order 
and form of law or the custom of the realm required it to be arranged at 
this time, he was willing to agree, notwithstanding the shortness of the time. 
The Lord of Menteith reiterated what he had said, that Sir Archibald had 
obliged himself to settle the question in this Parliament. The issue was 
that the King, after consulting with those who had been present with him 
at Aberdeen at the time when the promise was alleged to have been made, 
decided that Sir Archibald had only promised to be present "at this Parlia- 
ment in connection with this affair, if he was legally required to be present. 
The King refused to enter further into the case, as it was a question of 
common law, and the parties were instructed to pursue and defend the 
cause in other courts, according to the usual forms. This decision was 
ordered to be recorded. 1 The dispute appears to have been afterwards 
amicably settled. It is the only instance on record of any disagreement 
between the Eegent and the house of Douglas, who were ever afterwards 
sworn friends. 

Sir Robert Stewart witnessed several charters as Lord of Menteith. Two 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 505. 


of these, granted by his father, are printed, one bearing the date 1 6th October 
1369 ; J the other is undated. 2 

The death of King David the Second on 22d February 1371, without 
children, left the throne to his nephew, the High Steward, who was crowned 
at Scone on the 26th of March following. On the same day on which his 
father was crowned, Sir Eobert appears to have been created Eakl of 
Menteith, as on the day after the coronation, Sir Eobert Stewart, Earl of 
Menteith, was one of the nobles who performed homage and swore fealty to 
King Eobert the Second. 3 Sir Eobert might have obtained the title earlier 
but for the late King's jealousy against his father. 

Three days after his creation as Earl of Menteith, on the 30th of March 
1371, an agreement was made between him and Lady Isabella, styled 
Countess of Fife, in which the latter recognised the Earl as her true and 
lawful heir-apparent, by virtue both of the entail made by her father, Sir 
Duncan, Earl of Fife, in favour of Alan, Earl of Menteith, grandfather of 
Margaret, Countess of Menteith, the wife of Earl Eobert, and of the entail 
made by Lady Isabella herself and her late husband, Walter Stewart, elder 
brother of Sir Eobert, in his favour. The Countess of Fife had married 
four husbands in succession, who were all dead, and she had no living child 
to claim the earldom. In these circumstances influence had been brought 
to bear on the Countess which compelled her to resign the earldom in favour 
of other persons than the Earl of Menteith, and she now sought his aid to 
recover it for her. She promised, on the earldom being restored, to resign 
it immediately into the hands of the King for a grant to the Earl of Menteith. 

Sir Eobert Sibbald, in his History of Fife, printed a copy of this indenture, 
in which he erroneously calls Walter Stewart the son of Eobert, Earl of 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 250. 

2 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 561. 3 Ibid. p. 545. 


Menteith, instead of the brother. This inaccurate description of Walter 
Stewart was adopted by Lord Hailes, when arguing in the Sutherland Peerage 
Case that titles of honour were descendible to females. 1 The original inden- 
ture, however, has now been printed, 2 and conclusively shows that Lord 
Hailes had been misled by Sibbald. 

Success attended the efforts of the Earl of Menteith. The earldom of 
Fife was recovered, resigned by the Countess of Fife, and bestowed by King 
Eobert the Second upon the Earl of Menteith, presumably on the conditions 
agreed to in the indenture. No direct evidence has been obtained to show 
that these steps were duly and formally attended to, but that they had really 
taken place is evident from the Earl of Menteith's being present with the 
King at Scone on the 6th of March 1372, and witnessing a charter under 
the style and designation of Earl of Fife and Menteith. 3 From the date of 
the making of the indenture with the Countess of Fife up to the 4th of 
December 1371, when he witnessed at Dundonald, as Earl of Menteith, 
the confirmation by the King of a gift by John Kennedy of Dunure to the 
Chapter of Glasgow, of a chapel and three chaplainries in the parish of 
Maybole, 4 he frequently witnessed charters by his father at Scone, St. 
Andrews, and Edinburgh, and invariably as Earl of Menteith only. This 
shows that the title of Earl of Fife must have been acquired by him sub- 
sequent to 4th December 1371, but before the 6th of the following March, 
after which date he is always designed Earl of Fife and Menteith, the title 
of Fife having precedence as the older dignity. Under this title, he 
granted to Sir Eobert Stewart of Schanbothy the lands of Gerpot and Cragy, 
with the third part of the lands of Kulbak, in the barony of Leuchars, in 

1 Sutherland Peerage Case, p. 24, note. 3 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 

vol. xii. p. IS. 
- Vol. ii. of this work, p. 251. 4 Registrum Glasguense, p. 289. 

VOL. I. S 


Fife, and the charter was confirmed by the King his father, at Perth, on 
20th December 1372. 1 

Ten or eleven years after the marriage of Sir Eobert Stewart and Lady 
Margaret Graham, the families of Menteith and Moubray were brought into 
contact for the second time, and on this occasion under more auspicious 
circumstances than formerly. The first known connection was in the reign 
of King Eobert the Bruce, when Eoger of Moubray was forfeited for treason, 
and his barony of Barnbougle given to Murdach, Earl of Menteith. The 
barony, however, was surrendered by Sir John Graham and Lady Mary, 
Earl and Countess of Menteith, to King David the Second, in return for 
an acquittance for two thousand marks due by them to the Crown in 
respect of their marriage, 2 and in 1361 that King restored it to the family 
of Moubray in the person of Philippa of Moubray and her husband, Sir 
Bartholomew of Loen. 

The history of this lady is somewhat romantic. She appears to have 
been contracted to one husband, Bertold of Lon, but afterwards to have 
married a second, Thomas of Weston, while the former was alive. In the 
year 1343 the question arose as to which of these was her proper husband, 
and two notarial instruments, drawn up in that year, inform us that the 
decision was in favour of the claim of Bertold of Lon to that position. 

The first of these instruments narrates that on the '30th of October 1343, 
Mr. John Feuere, as procurator for Bertold of Lon and Philippa of Moubray, 
appeared before a notary and witnesses in the parish church of St. Mary 
Magdalene, in Milk Street, London, and earnestly inquired at two priests 
then and there present, namely, John, called of Pont, London, and John 
of Evesham, if they or either of them were aware of a contract of marriage 
entered into at any time between the said Bertold and Philippa. John of 

1 Registrum Magni Sigilli, p. 99. - Page 105, supra. 


Pont replied expressly that he saw, heard, and was personally present 
when Bertold, in the house of John of Weston, citizen and draper, Thames 
Street, London, on Wednesday, the octave after the Feast of St. John the 
Baptist (1st July) 1338, contracted marriage with Philippa, in these words : 
" I, Bertold of Lon, take thee, Philippa of Moubray, as my wife for all the 
time of my life, and to this I plight thee my troth." Philippa also imme- 
diately replied to Bertold in these words : " And I, Philippa of Moubray, 
take thee, Bertold of Lon, as my husband for all the time of my life, 
and to this I plight thee my troth." John of Evesham testified that the 
said Philippa, when seriously ill and despairing of life, confessed to him, 
as having at that time the care of her soul, for the exoneration of her 
conscience, that she had no right to Thomas of Weston, her pretended 
husband, because she had first contracted marriage with the said Bertold of 
Lon; and that at that time he solemnly enjoined the said Philippa, for 
the safety of her soul, utterly to disown Thomas of Weston, her pretended 
husband, and cleave to the said Bertold as her lawful husband. 

The second notarial instrument relates that on 18th December 1343, at 
the parish church of All Hallows, in the Bopery, London, letters from the 
Archdeacon of London were read, instructing the rector of that church to 
declare the marriage-contract between Thomas of Weston and Philippa of 
Moubray null and void, and that between Bertold of Lon and the said 
Philippa valid and lawful, and also to procure the marriage of the two last- 
named persons in the face of the church, after thirty days from the date of 
the letters. 1 

After their marriage, Sir Bartholomew of Loen and his wife Philippa 
returned to Scotland, and were received into the favour of Kin" David the 

9 * O 

Second, from whom, as stated, they received the barony of Barnbougle. A 
1 Vol. ii. of this work, pp. 232-234. 


son was born to them, and it was proposed that he should have to wife 
Janet Stewart, perhaps the eldest daughter of the Earl of Fife and Menteith 
and his Countess, Lady Margaret, and at this time only eight or nine years 
of age. Their parents entered into an indenture at Edinburgh, on 21st July 
1372, in which it was arranged that David, son and heir to Sir Bertold and 
Lady Philippa, should marry Janet Stewart, daughter of Sir Eobert Stewart, 
Earl of Fife and Menteith, and Lady Margaret his spouse. Sir Bertold and 
Lady Philippa were to provide for their honourable maintenance when 
married, and David and Janet, or the survivor of them, and the children to 
be lawfully, begotten between them were to be their heirs, but failing them, 
the estate was to revert to the lawful heirs of Lady Philippa. If David 
should happen to die during the life of his parents, they became bound to 
provide for Janet a forty pound land, with pertinents, within the barony of 
Earnbougle, for her maintenance during her life. Moreover, if after the 
completion of the marriage, both David and his parents died and Janet 
survived, she was to hold the whole of the barony and possessions of Sir 
Bertold and Philippa, but on her death these were immediately to revert to 
the heirs of the foresaid Philippa. The Earl of Fife and Menteith, for his 
part, promised to assist Sir Bertold with all his counsel and help, and to 
further the recovery by Sir Bertold of all lands to which, in right of his 
wife, he could by hereditary right lay claim in any part of Scotland. 1 

This last condition was the subject of a special bond of maintenance, 
made by the Earl of Fife and Menteith to Sir Bertold of Loen, a few years 
later at Stirling, on 25th November 1375, in which the Earl made the 
additional promise to maintain him against all men, except the King, his 
own brothers, the Earl of Douglas and his son Sir James, Sir Archibald 
Douglas, and his own cause. 2 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 25S. 2 Ibid. p. 260. 


King Eobert the Second had great confidence in the abilities and tact 
of his son the Earl of Menteith, and frequently employed him in the 
management of State affairs, even at this early stage of his reign. 
Along with his elder brother, John, Earl of Carrick, he was deputed to 
preside at the courts of redress frequently held on the Marches during the 
fourteen years' truce between Scotland and England. 1 The two brothers 
are said to have presided on alternate days. These Courts were rendered 
necessary by the depredations of the Borderers on both sides, which were 
generally carried on in defiance of all truces. 

The custody of the Castle of Stirling was committed by the King 
to the Earl of Fife and Menteith, by a charter dated 7th February 1373. 
For its maintenance the Earl was to receive the fourteen chalders of 
corn and the twelve chalders of oatmeal due from the lands of Both- 
kennar in Stirlingshire, as well as two hundred marks annually from 
the Lord Chamberlain. The money was to be raised from the lands, 
farms, and annual rents belonging to the Crown in the shire, with the 
wards, reliefs, marriages, fines, and escheats which might , happen, all which 
were made over to the Earl on the express condition that they should be 
accounted for to the Lord Chamberlain. If the income from these sources 
exceeded the sum of two hundred marks, the surplus was to be paid to the 
Treasury ; if it proved deficient, the Lord Chamberlain was bound to pay 
the balance. The office of keeper was made hereditary to the Earl and his 
lawful heirs-male, and it embraced the power of appointing and dismissing 
the constable and janitors of the castle. 2 During his term of office, which 
continued until his death in 1420, the castle underwent considerable repairs 
and improvements, and additions were made to the munitions of defence. 3 

1 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 3S3. 3 Exchequer Rolls, vol. ii. pp. 437-621 ; 

2 P^egistruru Magni Sigilli, p. 125. vol. iii. pp. 654-702. 


The arrangement about the payment of the two hundred marks does not 
seem to have been successful, and another was made, probably about the 
year 1379, by which the fee was paid direct from the Treasury. 

On the same day on which he received the custody of Stirling Castle, 
the Earl of Fife and Menteith entered into an agreement with Sir Eobert 
Erskine, by which the Earl became bound to be a good lord, and a faithful, 
kind, and affectionate friend to Sir Eobert Erskine, his brother, and their 
heirs. This was solemnly sworn to by the Earl in presence of his father 
at Perth, and the agreement was sealed with the King's privy seal, and the 
seals of the Earls of Carrick and Eife and Menteith. 1 

Although King Eobert the Second had already, by a formal Act of 
Parliament, secured the succession of his eldest son, John, Earl of Carrick, 
and his heirs, to the throne, he yet deemed it necessary to guard against 
the possible failure of his line through the death of the Earl of Carrick 
or failure of heirs. For this purpose a Grand Council or Parliament was 
summoned to meet at Scone on the 4th of April 1373. By this Council 
it was ordained that, failing the King's eldest son and his heirs, the 
succession should devolve on Sir Eobert Stewart, Earl of Fife and Menteith, 
the second surviving son of the King by his first wife, and his heirs. In 
the event of his failure, the Crown was to be inherited by the King's 
other sons. To this ordinance a very formal and solemn assent was given 
by the whole nobility, clergy, and Parliament, and a great concourse of the 
clergy and people, after the statute was explained to them, gave their 
consent in front of the great altar at Scone, by lifting up their hands. 2 

In June of the same year, the Earl of Fife and Menteith was at 
Aberdeen with the King, and while there witnessed the royal confirma- 

1 Original in the Charter-chest of the Earl 2 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 

of Mar and Kellie. vol. i. p. 549. 


tiou of a grant by Walter of Menteith of Petmacaldore to the parish church 
of St. Devenick of Methlick of a piece of land. The charter is dated the 
16th of June 1373. 1 

It was a common custom at that time, when the state of affairs 
between the two countries permitted, for Scottish noblemen to send their 
servants, or employ merchants to go, into England to purchase malt for them. 
Application had to be made in the first place to the English Government, 
who granted the required permission if they saw fit. Such licences were 
occasionally obtained by the Earl of Fife and Menteith. One from King 
Edward the Third on 8th August 1375, empowered John Young of Lin- 
lithgow, one of the Earl's squires, to go into the county of Lincoln, and 
purchase there for ready money three hundred quarters of malt, which he 
was to convey to the Port of Barton-upon-Humber, and ship to Scotland 
for the maintenance of the Earl and his family. 2 

Three years later, in April 1378, we find the Earl of Douglas associated 
with the Earl of Fife and Menteith in a like transaction, and obtaining 
permission from Eichard the Second of England for two of their 
servants to purchase for them divers pewter vessels, worsteds, chairs, 
cages, stoups, and leather bottles for their own use in Scotland. The 
goods were to be shipped from the Port of London. 3 And at a later period, 
in January 1383, one Malcolm Forsyth was commissioned to purchase 
for the Earl of Fife and Menteith eight hundred quarters of malt, half of 
which was to be procured in Lincolnshire, and the other half in the counties 
of Norfolk and Suffolk. 4 

Eobert, Earl of Fife and Menteith, obtained from the King a gift of the 
baronies of Kedhall in Midlothian, and Glendochart in Perthshire, by a 

1 Registrum Episeopatus Aberdonensis, 2 Rotuli Scotia;, vol. i. p. 971. 

vol. i. p. 114. 3 Ibid. vol. ii. p. 7. 4 Ibid. p. 47. 


charter dated at Methven, 2 2d January 1376. These two baronies formerly 
belonged to Alexander of Menzies, and in the beginning of the year 1374 1 
were let by him in liferent to the Earl of Fife and Menteith, with the 
exception of certain lands ; but Alexander of Menzies having resigned both the 
baronies into the King's hands, they were at this time granted by the latter 
to his son Earl Eobert, and his heirs in fee. 2 Two months later the King 
also bestowed on him, by a charter dated at Perth 19th March 1376, the 
lands of Lethberdschelis, in the constabulary of Linlithgow, which had 
belonged to Adam of Argent, but which had been resigned by him into the 
hands of Kin" Eobert the Second. 3 About this time also, or during the 
year 1376, Earl Eobert executed a deed of excambion, whereby he gave his 
castle and all his lands in the barony of Leuchars, in Fifeshire, to Sir 
William Eamsay of Colluthy, in exchange for the lands of Balnefery, 
Mundolo, Balnageth, and Tarres, in Inverness-shire. In addition to these 
lands, Sir William Eamsay agreed to render three suits yearly at the Earl 
of Fife and Menteith's court at the Mathelaw, and a pair of gilt spurs, if 
asked, at the feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist. 4 

The Earl also held lands in the earldom of Lennox. This appears from 
a charter granted by him to Sir Patrick of Graham, of a half carucate 
of the land of Achynrosse, in that earldom. The charter was confirmed by 
King Eobert the Second at Perth, on the 13th of June 1377. 6 

During the next five years the Earl of Fife and Menteith accompanied 
his father the King in his royal progresses through different parts of the 
country. One circuit was accomplished by the middle of the year 1378, 
when we find the Court at Dundee, Kindrocht, Dunkeld, Stirling, and 

1 Registrum Magni Sigilli, p. 101. 4 History of the Carnegies Earls of 

2 Ibid. p. 128. .Southesk, by William Fraser, vol. ii. p. 490. 

3 Ibid. p. 130. 5 Registrum Magni Sigilli, p. 154. 


Edinburgh successively, and a return made to Perth by way of Dunfermline. 
At other times Inverness and Aberdeen were visited, with several of the inter- 
vening towns. In the course of these royal progresses charters were granted 
and confirmed, and the Earl of Fife and Menteith frequently appears as a 
witness. In the month of October 1380 the Earl of Fife and Menteith was, 
along with the poet Sir John Barbour, Archdeacon of Aberdeen, and others, at 
Kintore, the manor of Sir William of Keith, the Marischal of Scotland. 

The office of High Chamberlain of Scotland having become vacant 
through the death of Sir John Lyon of Glamis, who was slain by Sir James 
Lindsay, Lord of Crawford, on 4th November 1382, 1 King Eobert the 
Second bestowed it on his son, the Earl of Fife and Menteith. Sir John 
Lyon had been a favourite of King Eobert, who, by a charter dated 18th 
March 1372, bestowed upon him the Thanage of Glamis. 2 This gift was 
confirmed by a charter granted at Edinburgh, on 7th January 1373-4, by 
John, Earl of Carrick, Eobert, Earl of Fife and Menteith, and Alexander, Lord 
of Badenoch, in which they narrate their father's gift, and promise for them- 
selves and their heirs never to revoke it, to whatever state or even regal 
dignity any of them might attain, but that they would rather renew the gift 
as often as there should be necessity, or the said John should require them. 3 

After receiving the honour of knighthood, Sir John Lyon became a 
member of the royal family through his marriage with the Lady Jean 
Stewart, daughter of King Eobert the Second. Lady Jean or Johanna was 
the widow of Sir John Keith, eldest son of Sir William Keith, marischal of 
Scotland, a fact hitherto unrecognised by genealogists. He died about the 
year 1374, leaving her with one son, Eobert, who died young. A few years 
later she formed a private matrimonial alliance with Sir John Lyon. Their 

1 Exchequer llolls, vol. iii. p. 657. 2 Eegistrurn Magni Sigilli, p. 90. 

3 Original Charter at Glamis Castle. 
VOL. I. T 


marriage was afterwards acknowledged by King Eobert, with consent of his 
sons, the Earls of Carrick, Fife and Menteith, and Alexander, Lord of 
Badenoch, as appears from a letter under the Great Seal, given at Dundonald 
on 10th May 1378. 1 In that letter, the King, after narrating the marriage 
of Jobn Lyon and Johanna of Keith, declares that he retains no displeasure 
against either, and being expressly desirous that no blame may be imputed 
to them, he forbids any one to bring any accusation, judicial or otherwise, 
against them, or in any way to impeach their good fame, under pain of 
forfeiture. In the same year Sir John Lyon was made Chamberlain of 
Scotland, and held it until his death, as stated above. 

The Earl of Fife and Menteith held the office for upwards of twenty years, 
until, in 1408, he devolved it upon John, Earl of Buchan, his eldest, son 
by his second Countess. No one dignified this office more than did the Earl 
of Fife and Menteith, for, notwithstanding the high honours which from 
time to time were conferred upon him, he retained the post and faithfully 
performed its duties. In 1389 he obtained the assistance of two deputies, 
Patrick of Lumley, who was appointed Chamberlain-Depute south of the 
Forth, and Sir Walter of Tulach, Chamberlain-Depute north of the Forth. 
After the death of the former, Sir Adam and Sir John Forster successively 
held the office of depute, and when Sir Walter of Tulach died, no less a 
personage than David, Earl of Crawford, was appointed as his successor. 2 
As Chamberlain of Scotland, the Earl of Fife and Menteith received a 
mandate from the King, dated at Edinburgh, 6th January 1383, to pay 
annually to his half-brother, John, Earl of Moray, the sum of £100 sterling, 
from the great customs of the burghs of Elgin and Forres. 3 The fee for the 
office of Chamberlain during the Earl's tenure was £200 yearly. 

1 Original at Glamis Castle. '- Excheqxier Rolls, vol. iii. p. liv. 

3 Registrum Magni Sigilli, p. 172. 


About this time the Earl's first wife, Lady Margaret Graham, must have 
died. He married, as his second wife, Muriella, daughter of Sir William 
Keith, Marischal of Scotland, whose eldest son, as we have seen, had reached 
maturity in or before the year 1408. 

As Earl of Fife, Earl Eobert relaxed somewhat the ancient privilege 
peculiar to that earldom, known as the law of the Clan Macduff, by which 
any one who had slain a man suddenly, was entitled, on payment of a fine 
of cattle, to a complete remission, if he could prove that he was related 
within the ninth degree to the original Thane Macduff. Such a privilege, it 
is to be feared, was too commonly taken advantage of for the satisfaction of 
private or personal revenge ; and when King Eobert the Second, in the 
month of November 1384, passed an ordinance for the better regulation of 
the northern parts of Scotland, the Earl of Fife voluntarily came under 
obligation personally to observe this law, and to see that it was respected by 
all within his bounds. He, however, protested for the free use of his right, 
though he promised not to exercise it in prejudice of the ordinance which 
had been issued. 1 

At a Council held at Glasgow in the month of September 1384,' 2 the Earl 
of Fife and Menteith was present. In the month of February following he 
formed a member of the Court at Arnele, and witnessed the confirmation 
there by his father, on the 28 th, of a charter by Sir William Keith, Marischal 
of Scotland, to a chaplain in the choir of the Cathedral Church of Aberdeen. 3 
At Stirling, on the 20th March 1385, the Earl of Fife and Menteith granted 
to Sir William Stewart, for homage and service, the lands of Great and Little 
Jargarw, in the barony of Logierait in Perthshire, which lands had formerly 
belonged to Lady Margaret Stewart, daughter and heiress of the late Thomas 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 551. 

2 Ibid. p. 565. 3 Registrum Aberdonense, vol. i. p. 129. 


Stewart, Earl of Angus, but had been resigned by her into the hands of the 
Earl of Fife and Menteith. 1 

A dispute having arisen between the Earl of Fife and Menteith and John 
of Logy, in which the latter called in question the right of the Earl to the 
possession of the lands of Logy and Stragartney, the matter was referred to 
the arbitration of Andrew Mercer, Lord of Meikleour. These lands had 
belonged to Sir John Logy, who was executed for taking part in the con- 
spiracy of William of Soulis against King Eobert the Bruce, while his estates 
were forfeited to the Crown. The lands of Logy seem to have been given to 
the Earl of Douglas, 2 while those of Stragartney were bestowed on Sir John 
of Menteith and Elene of Mar his spouse. 3 Notwithstanding the possession 
of Stragartney by Sir John of Menteith, David the Second issued a pre- 
cept for infefting John of Logy, the son of the late Sir John Logy, in these 
lands ; 4 but afterwards, on being informed by his Council of the reasons for 
Sir John Logy's forfeiture, he recalled the infeftment, and restored Stragartney 
to Sir John of Menteith. 5 Not long after the King's marriage to Margaret 
of Logy, John of Logy received from him the lands of Logy by a new 
grant. How they, with the lands of Stragartney, came to be in the 
possession of Sir Eobert Stewart, does not appear, but that they were, is 
evident from the indenture of arbitration drawn up at the instance of Andrew 
Mercer. 6 The Lord of Meikleour, after hearing the parties, adjudged that 
the lands belonged to John of Logy, and the Earl, having agreed to abide 
by the decision of the arbiter, at once transferred the lands to him with 
due formalities. The agreement and decision were made known to King 

1 Original in the Douglas Charter-chest. 4 The Red Book of Grandtully, by William 

Fraser, vol. i. p. 127. 

2 Robertsoll ' s Index > P" 31 - 5 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 238. 

3 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 23S. 6 Ibid. p. 260. 


Eobert the Second, and affirmed in presence of the Court by the Earl of 
Fife and Menteith and John of Logy. The resignation by the former in 
favour of the latter was made within the Castle of Edinburgh, on "Whit- 
sunday 1387, and was attested by John, Earl of Carrick, in a letter dated 
5th May 1389. 1 The King afterwards confirmed the lands of Logy to John 
of Logy ; and when the men of Stragartney were inclined to demur to the 
claims made upon them by their new lord, the Earl of Fife and Menteith 
wrote to them, that although he had formerly prohibited them from obeying 
John of Logy, their lord, before the latter had made good his claims to the 
lands, they should now serve him as their lawful lord. 2 This arrangement 
between the Earl of Fife and Menteith and John of Logy was sacredly kept 
by both parties. It is interesting to note that John of Logy was Chamberlain 
to the Duke of Eotkesay while he was Earl of Carrick. 3 

In the year 1385, Scotland was visited by a French army under the 
command of John de Vienne, Admiral of France, who brought with him 
fifty thousand francs in gold, and a large number of suits of armour. These 
were sent over by the King of France, who wished to carry on his war 
with England by attacking it from the Scottish borders, and hoped to 
be assisted by the Scots. With some reluctance King Eobert the Second 
agreed to the proposals made by the French admiral, and the Scottish army, 
under the command of the Earl of Fife and Menteith, accompanied the 
French to the Borders. When they had laid siege to Eoxburgh Castle, a 
question arose whether in the event of its capture the castle should belong to 
the French King or to the Scots. The latter would by no means entertain 
the claim put forward by the French, that the castle should belong to their 
king, and the siege was therefore abandoned. Meanwhile the English 

1 Antiquities of Aberdeenshire, vol. iii. 2 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 265. 

p. 133, footnote. 3 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iii. pp. 325-353. 


King, apprised of what was taking place, had reached the Borders at the 
head of a large and well-disciplined army, to which the French troops 
would have given battle had they not been restrained by their allies. 
The Scottish leaders knew they could not risk the contest, and prudently 
retired into their own country, leaving Richard to follow, which he did, 
devastating the country as he passed, and penetrating to Edinburgh, 
reduced it to ashes. The Earl of Fife and Menteith, on the other hand, 
led the Scottish army into Cumberland, and retaliated by laying waste part 
of that district ; and as the. English retreated, the allied Scottish and French 
army returned to the capital. The expedition had been an unfavourable 
one for the French troops, and on their return, aided by the Scots, with 
whom they were in no favour, they re-embarked for their own land, 
disgusted and in worse plight than when they came. But before John de 
Vienne was permitted to depart he had to distribute the fifty thousand 
francs which were brought to Scotland, of which the King received 10,000, 
the Earl of Carrick 5500, the Earl of Fife and Menteith 3000, the Earl 
of Douglas 7500, and other nobles various sums. 1 

After the withdrawal of the French the Earl of Menteith assembled an 
army of about thirty thousand men, and accompanied by James, Earl of 
Douglas, Sir Archibald Douglas, Lord of Galloway, and other nobles, made a 
descent upon a part of Cumberland which had escaped invasion since the 
time of King Robert the Bruce. Unopposed in their progress, the Scots 
penetrated to Cockermouth, where amongst the plunder, the collection of 
which is said to have occupied three days, was found a very ancient charter, 
to which was affixed a large wax seal. The peculiarity of this charter was 
its brevity, its entire contents, as translated by Bower, being — 

1 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. vii. p. 485. 


" 1, King Adelstane, giffys here to Paulan, Oddarn and Eoddam, als gude 
and als fair as evir thai myn war : and tharto witnes Maid my wyf." l 

The brevity of this charter must have favourably impressed the Earl, 
for the historian adds that afterwards, when he became Duke of Albany 
and Governor of Scotland, and prolix obligations or charters were read 
by those pleading before him in Court, he was wont to say that greater 
confidence and trust were preserved in former days, when writs were made 
so compendious, than now, when, by lengthy documents, our new lawyers 
confused their deeds by frivolous exceptions and tedious ambiguities. 2 

The success of this expedition was complete, and a meed of praise is 
bestowed on the Scottish leader by the poet Wyntoun, who says that the 
Scots were well and wisely led : — 

The Erie of Fyfe welle prysyd wes 

Of governyng and gret besynes, 

And als of gud cumpany, 

Swa that the yhowng chewalry 

Of that rowte mare wilful ware 

To ryde wyth hym, than thai war are. 3 

For a short time after this there was no engagement with the English 
which called for the skill of the Earl, and he is found present at the Court of 
his father in various places in Scotland, at Methven, Glasgow, Linlithgow, 
Kilwinning, Scone, and Edinburgh. At the last-named town, on 12th May 
1388, as Chamberlain of Scotland, he granted a charter to the Abbey of 
Holyrood, confirming a charter by David the First, founder of the Abbey, 
by which it had exemption from all tolls and customs throughout the whole 
kingdom, 4 a privilege which was taken advantage of by the monks of Melrose. 

1 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 403. 3 Wyntoun's Crouykil, Maepherson's ed. vol. ii. p. 332. 
- Ibid. * Charters of Holyrood, p. 100. 


la the summer of the year 1388, another invasion of England was 
determined on hy the Scots, who assembled in strong force near Jedburgh, 
under the command of the Earl of Fife and Menteith. "While the Scottish 
leaders were consulting as to the course to be pursued, an English spy was 
taken, and influenced by information obtained from him, the Earl divided his 
army into two unequal portions. The smaller part was commanded by the 
young and valiant James, second Earl of Douglas and Mar, whose instruc- 
tions were to create a diversion in favour of the larger army led by the 
Earl of Fife and Menteith. This was rendered necessary by the fact that 
the English army lay at a distance, waiting to see what direction the Scottish 
army intended to take. The plan was entirely successful; the Earl of 
Douglas, with his small force, so completely engaged the attention of the 
English leaders, that the larger body of troops, under the command of the 
Earl of Fife and Menteith, entered England by Carlisle unobserved by the 
English army, and after committing great havoc, returned to Scotland without 
encountering any opposition. The chief interest of this incursion, however, 
lay in the daring exploits of Douglas in the east of England and in face 
of the large English army. His untimely death on the field of Otterburn 
spread a deep gloom over the victorious army on its homeward journey, 
even though they brought with them Percy himself as a prisoner. 

One of the castles of this renowned Earl of Douglas was Tantallon, in the 
barony of North Berwick, which he held for homage and service from the 
Earl of Fife and Menteith. The superiority of the lands of North Berwick 
and the Castle of Tantallon belonged to Earl Kobert, and on the death of 
Douglas, as his vassal, he ought to have gone personally to receive or 
recognosce the tenandry and castle. Public business, however, was pressing, 
and in a Parliament held at Linlithgow, on the 18th August 1388, the 
Earl of Fife and Menteith sought advice and direction from the King and 


Parliament. His tenant, he said, in the barony and castle of North Berwick 
had died, and if he should require to go personally to receive or recognosce 
this tenandry with the castle, while the defence of the realm, at present 
disquieted with war, required his care and attention, omission of which 
would be hazardous to the State, the journey would be a grievous labour to 
himself, and unprofitable and expensive both to him and the country. After 
consultation, the Parliament issued a special decree that he should and ought 
lawfully to enjoy and use the barony, entry or exit, with its fortalice or 
castle as a tenandry held of him, until the true heirs of James Earl of Douglas 
should have made out their right and title to them in clue form of law. It 
was also ordained by the Parliament that the King should issue letters com- 
manding the free tenants and inhabitants of North Berwick, together with 
the Keeper and Constable of the Castle of Tantallon, to answer to the Earl of 
Eife and Menteith, as their Lord Superior in the meantime.' 1 In accordance 
with this resolution of Parliament, King Eobert the Second, on the same 1 8th 
August, wrote to the free tenants of the barony of North Berwick, and the 
Keeper and Constable of the Castle of Tantallon, to obey the Earl of Fife and 
Menteith, and to deliver up the castle into the Earl's hands. 2 When, how- 
ever, the Earl, in the close of this year, became Guardian of Scotland, special 
care was taken that the claims of the heirs of James Earl of Douglas should 
be duly respected, if made ; and as they would then require to be preferred 
before the Guardian's own Court, a special Act of Parliament was enacted, 
by which the King should be able to interpose his authority on any undue 
impediment being thrown in their way. 3 

The name of the Constable of Tantallon Castle at that time was Alan of 
Lauder, as appears in a commission or order made under the King's Privy 
Seal, and dated 7th January 1389, in which he is enjoined to make the castle 
1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 555. 2 Ibid. p. 565. 3 Ibid. p. 556. 

VOL. I. U 


free to the Earl. 1 Earl Robert seems at this time to have paid a visit to the 
fortress, and found that it was the temporary dwelling-place of Lady Margaret 
Stewart, Countess of Mar and Angus. The Earl of Fife and Menteith treated 
this lady kindly, and evinced his love and friendship for her family; for 
by a formal deed, dated at Tantallon the 20th January 1389, he gave her 
liberty to remain in the castle as long as she chose, while it remained in 
his hands, to enjoy all her former privileges unrestrained, and to remove 
with her family and servants when she chose. He promised that she 
should not be disturbed by him, or any one through him, and obliged him- 
self by oath to maintain her, her men, her lands, and all her possessions, 
against any that would wrong them, in as tender a manner as if they were 
his own property. 2 

King Eobert the Second, by reason of his advanced age, becoming- 
unequal to the weighty duties of the government, and his eldest son, John, 
Earl of Carrick, being incapacitated by infirmity from relieving him of them, 
the hopes of the Parliament and people of Scotland turned to the Earl of 
Fife and Menteith, whose abilities and services had already commanded their 
respect. In a council held at Edinburgh on the 1st December 1388, the King 
personally submitted the case to the three Estates, as having already been 
considered and agreed to by his General Council. They, after much consulta- 
tion, also consented that the Earl should be made Guardian of the kingdom 
under the King, his eldest son, John, Earl of Carrick, and the eldest son and 
heir of the latter, yet with the authority of the King, for the administration of 
justice and conservation of the laws within the realm, and its defence against 
all enemies. The King thereupon admitted him to the office of Guardian, and 
instructed the Chancellor to prepare his commission, which should continue 

1 Historical Manuscripts Commissioners' Report, vol. v. p. 611. 
- Original in Douglas Charter-chest. 


until the recovery of the Earl of Carrick from his weakness, or until the 
latter's eldest son should be able to assume the government. 1 On the 11th 
April following, the Earl was granted the sum of one thousand marks 
annually for the support of the office. 2 The Earl was also Chamberlain 
of Scotland, and on that account a clause is added prohibiting him from 
applying more than the above-mentioned sum for the expenses of this office 
of Guardian. A precept, which was issued at Edinburgh on 26th May 1389, 
commences, " Robert Erie of Fyf and of Meuteth, Wardane and Charnbhiayn 
of Scotland." It was addressed to the collectors of the great customs of the 
Burghs of Edinburgh, Haddington, and Dunbar, and informed them that by 
virtue of a charter of King David, confirmed by King Robert the Second, the 
Abbey of Melrose was entitled to import and export goods duty free, and 
therefore forbids them to ask or receive dues from those belonging to that 
abbey. 3 This precept was duly respected, as a memorandum by the 
custumars of Linlithgow in their account for the year 1403-4, states that 
by command of the Duke of Albany fifteen sacks of wool belonging to 
Melrose had been passed without the exaction of custom, by reason of the 
gift of alms to the Abbey. 4 

After his visit to Tantallon, the Earl of Fife and Menteith went to 
Montrose, where he was on the 26th of January 1389, and attested the con- 
firmation of a charter by Patrick of Graham, Lord of Kincardine, to his 
son, Patrick of Graham, of the lands of Kinpont and Illieston. 5 

During the year 1389 the Earl led another Scottish army into the north 
of England. He was provoked by the taunts of the Earl Marshal of 
England, who, ever since the defeat of the English at Otterburn and 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 3 Liber de Melros, vol. ii. p. 449. 

vol. i. p. 555. 4 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iii. p. 593. 

a Ibid. p. 557. 5 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 265. 


capture of Percy, had derided the Scots, and boasted that if they would 
meet him in a fair field, even though the Scots were twice as numerous 
as the English, he would fight them. It was nothing uncommon for 
Border warfare to be waged on such chivalrous terms, but on this occasion 
the Governor thought the dignity of the kingdom insulted. He therefore 
assembled a considerable army, and accompanied by Sir Archibald Douglas 
and other nobles, proceeded across the Borders to meet the Earl Marshal of 
England. When the armies met, the Earl of Fife and Menteith challenged 
the Earl Marshal to make good his boasting, but the latter declined to 
venture a battle, and keeping close in his entrenchments, replied that he 
was not at liberty to risk the lives of the lieges of the King of England. 
After waiting for some time without any movement taking place on the part 
of the English, the Scots returned home, wasting that part of England 
through which they passed. 1 

Subsequent to this invasion, in the same year, the French and English had 
agreed at Boulogne upon a three years' truce, and both parties consenting to 
invite the Scots to become a party to it, each sent two Commissioners to King 
Eobert at Dunfermline. They first went to Sir Archibald Douglas to obtain 
his influence towards the success of their mission, but he replied that he 
had little or nothing to say in the matter, which really belonged to the King 
and the Warden. The Commissioners next betook themselves to the 
Warden, the Earl of Fife and Menteith, who in his turn disclaimed any 
power to make peace or war, and said that all was in the King's will. On 
at last coming to the King himself, they succeeded in persuading him to join 
the Treaty ; 2 and it seems to have been faithfully kept by the three nations. 
In connection with this visit the following entry occurs in the Chamberlain's 
Accounts : — 

1 Wyntoun'a Cronykil, vol. ii. p. 345. 2 Ibid. pp. 34(3-348. 


Paid for wine, spices, and cloth bought for the King's expenses at Dunfermline, 
when the French and English ambassadors came to him, £19, lis. lOd. 1 

Soon after this the King, by a charter dated 12th August 1389, bestowed 
on the Earl of Fife and Menteith the lauds of Coule and Onele, 2 and 
by another charter, of the same date, the barony of Strathurde, with the 
lands of Strabravne, Dysfer, and Twefer, and the loch of Tay, with the 
island, all in Perthshire. 3 All these lands had formed part of the posses- 
sions of Isabella, Countess of Fife, but were resigned by her at Dunfermline 
the same day on which they were granted to the Earl of Fife and 
Menteith. The Earl afterwards accompanied his father to Dundee and 
Aberdeen, thence to Perth and Linlithgow ; and after visiting Arnelle, 
where the Earl was with the King for a few days at the end of March 
1390, 4 the King betook himself to his castle of Dundonald in Ayrshire, 
where he died on the 19th of April 1390. 5 

After the accession of his elder brother, John, Earl of Carrick, to the 
throne as King Eobert the Third, the Earl of Fife and Menteith still con- 
tinued in the office of Governor, and performed the active part of those 
duties which should have devolved on the Sovereign. 

Indeed, his elder brother, before he became King, as well as his father, 
seems frequently to have sought advice and assistance from Earl Eobert. 
One such occasion was the marriage of Archibald, afterwards fourth Earl 
of Douglas, to Margaret, daughter of the Earl of Carrick, when the marriage- 
contract was drawn up between John, Earl of Carrick, and Eobert, Earl of 

1 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iii. p. 699. * Registrum Magni Sigilli, pp. 177-180. 

- Historical Manuscript Commissioners' 
Report, vol. v. p. 626. = Forchm, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 414 ; Wyu- 

3 The Red Book of Grandtully, by William toun's Cronykil, vol. ii. p. 349. 
Fraser, vol. i. p. 191. 


Fife and Menteith, on the one part, and Archibald, third Earl of Douglas, 
on the other. Earl Eobert seems to have advanced a considerable sum of 
money to his brother on this occasion, which was not repaid by the year 
1394, as in the Lord Chamberlain's Account, rendered on 26th March of 
that year, a sum of £748 is admitted to be due by the King, the letters 
of obligation having been granted while he was Earl of Carrick. In this 
account Earl Robert's receipt is obtained for £523, Os. 2d., and a former 
payment of £101, 3s. 6d. is noted as having been made in the year 1392, 
which left still owing £123, 16s. 4d. 1 In the following year's account the 
subject again occupies a place in the report by the auditors, who express 
themselves as not satisfied with the demand made at that time upon the 
Exchequer for the balance ; and while they pay the sum to the Earl of Fife 
and Menteith, they add the following — 

" Memorandum, that while the Earl of Fife has allocation of £123, 16s. 4d., a sum 
due him by the King by reason of a certain contract of marriage between the said King 
and the said Earl on the one part, and the Earl of Douglas on the other, yet 
because it appears to the auditors that the sum now allocated is not due, it has been 
determined between them respecting the account, that the said Earl of Fife shall 
exhibit his charter, which he holds from the King, made hereanent, and that when the 
charter has been inspected and the rolls of accounts, with other evidents, declaration 
should be made in the hearing of the King ; and should it be found that the allocation 
or payment is not due as before mentioned, he shall be bound to restore that sum to 
the King, or allow the payment of it as due at the next auditing or accounting between 
them ; which the said Earl promised effectually to do." 2 

It does appear, on an examination of the account rendered on 26th March 
1394, as if the claim had then been settled, for the Earl of Fife received 
in supplement of the payment of the sum due to him by the King's 

1 Exchequer Rolls, vol. Hi. p. 343. 2 Ibid. p. 377. 


letters of obligation, £98, 9s., and it is added that he took allocation 
of twenty marks due from the lands of Cragroth, in supplement of the 
payment of the sum due him by the King, which he holds is fully paid. 1 
But the two sums here mentioned do not amount to the balance of the 
money formerly mentioned as due, and this reference in the same account is 
therefore probably to an entirely different obligation. 

There is also mention made in the account rendered on 7th April 
1395 of another obligation, given in the form of letters under the Great Seal, 
and granted by King Eobert the Third when he was Earl of Carrick, on 
account of which Earl Eobert received payment of 204 marks, or £136, 
and expressed himself satisfied up to next Easter. 2 This obligation 
probably has reference to a grant by King Eobert to his brother, the 
Earl of Fife and Menteith, in connection with the lands of the abthanery 
of Dull, whence the Earl drew annually at Easter the hereditary annuity 
of 204 marks. 3 The Earl seems to have made good his claim to the balance, 
as nothing further occurs respecting it in subsequent accounts. 

For a time the country had rest from war, and the Earl was chiefly 
engaged with the meetings of Council and Parliament, which were frequently 
held during the earlier years of King Eobert the Third's reign, and at 
different places throughout the country, where charters were granted or 
confirmed by the King. He was present at Scone on the 18th of March 
1391, and attested a notarial instrument which was prepared on the occasion 
of a petition by Sir Thomas Erskine to the King. 4 In this document the 
King is represented as sitting in full parliament on a hill to the north of the 
Abbey of Scone, beyond the cemetery, when Sir Thomas Erskine approached, 
and after informing the King that he had heard that a contract had been 

1 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iii. p. 349. 4 Acta of the Parliaments of Scotland, 

2 Ibid. p. 372. 3 Ibid. p. 427, etc. vol. i. p. 578. 


made between Sir Malcolm Drummond and Sir John Swinton regarding 
the lands of Mar and Garioch, to which Sir Malcolm's wife was the true 
and lawful heir, but failing her, Sir Thomas Erskine's wife was the next 
heir to one-half of the earldom, petitioned that if any such agreement had 
been made in prejudice of the right of his wife, his Majesty would not 
confirm it. The King replied that the request was a reasonable one, and 
Avould be granted. The complaint of Sir Thomas Erskine and the reply of 
the King are as follows : — 

"My Lorde the kyng, it is done me til vndirstand that tliare is a certane contract 
made bytwene Sir Malcolme of Dromonde and Sir Johne of Swyntone apone the 
landis of the erledome of Marre and the lordshipe of Garvyauch, of the quhilkes 
erldonie and lordshipe Issabelle, the said Sir Malcolm's wyf, is verray and lauchfulle 
ayre ; and failliand of the ayrez of hir body, the half of the fornemmyt erldome and 
lordshipe perteignys to my wyfe of richt of heretage : Tharefore I require yow 
for Goddis sake, as my lorde and my kyng, as lauchful actornay to my saide wyfe, 
that in case gif ony sic contract be made in preiudice of my saide wyfe of that 
at audit of richt and of lauch perteigne til hir in fee and heritage, failliand of 
the saide Issabelle as is before saide, that yhe grant na confirmacioun thare 
apone in hurtyng of the commone lauch of the kynryk and of my wyvis richt, 
swa that sic contract, gif ony be, make na preiudice no hurtyng to my fornemmyt 
wife of that at scho audit to succede to as lauchful ayre. To the qwhilk our 
lorde the kyng answerit, saiand that he had wed herd and vndirstand his request, 
and said that hym thocht his request was resounable, and said als that it suld 
nocht be his will in that case, no in nane othir, oucht to do or to conferme that suld 
ryn ony man in preiudice of thair heritage attour the commone lauch, and namely 
in oucht at rynyt the said Sir Thomas or his wyfe in sic manere : Apon the qwhilk 
our lorde the kynges grant the said Sir Thomas, and als apone his saide request, 
requerit me, notare before said, to make hym ane Instrument." : 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 57S. 


On the 17th of February 1392, a meeting took place between the Earl 
of Fife and Menteith and Duncan, Earl of Lennox, at Inchmurrin, the 
island residence of the latter in Loch Lomond, the result of which was an 
agreement between the two Earls that Sir Murdoch Stewart, eldest son 
of the Earl of Fife and Menteith, should marry Lady Isabella, eldest 
daughter of the Earl of Lennox. It was provided that the earldom of 
Lennox should be resigned into the King's hands, and a new grant obtained 
in favour of Earl Duncan and any heirs-male which he might have ; failing 
whom, the earldom was to descend to Sir Murdoch Stewart and Lady 
Isabella. The marriage took place shortly afterwards. 1 The Earl of Fife 
and Menteith was justiciar of the shires of Stirling and Dumbarton, and 
one condition of the contract was that Duncan, Earl of Lennox, should be 
made substitute and depute to the Earl of Fife and Menteith in the lands 
comprising the lordship of Lennox, and have a third part of the profits of 
the justiciary of that lordship. 2 It must have been in compliance with 
this article of the agreement that on the 6th March 1401, at Stirling, the 
Earl of Fife and Menteith granted to Duncan, Earl of Lennox, and his heirs, 
under the form of entail between him and Murdoch Stewart the Duke's 
son and heir, the office of crowner (coronator) of the entire earldom of the 
Lennox, with all the fees and emoluments belonging of right to that office, 
with power to appoint deputies and servants at pleasure, which office, it is 
added in the deed of appointment, belonged, with its pertinents, heritably to 
the Lord or Laird (Dominus) of Drummond. 3 

King Eobert the Third, although a mild and just Prince, lacked the 
strength of character and martial vigour of both his father and brother. 
He saw in the independent nobility by which he was surrounded, those 

1 The Lennox, by William Fraser, vol. i. p. 24S. 2 Ibid. vol. ii. p. 44. 

3 Cartularium de LeveDax, p. 95. 
VOL. I. X 


elements of discord which might at any tune break loose and threaten the 
stability of his throne. Owing to lameness caused by a kick from a horse, 
he was personally incapable of great activity, and perhaps in the hope of 
securing some support should the hour of need arrive, he bestowed pensions 
on several of the nobles and knights. His brother, the Earl of Fife and 
Menteith, was one of these. By a charter, dated 8th February 1393, he was 
granted the sum of two hundred marks yearly (£133, 6s. 8d. Scots) for 
homage and service, and for retinue to the eldest son of the King, David 
Stewart, Earl of Carrick, or in the event of his death, to Sir Eobert Stewart, 
his second son. The money was to be uplifted from the customs of the 
burghs of Linlithgow and Cupar, and in case of deficiency, the sum was to 
be completed from the Treasury. 1 

During the year 1395 the Earl of Fife and Menteith seems to have been 
employed in some business at Linlithgow concerning the castle of Calder, 
which he had undertaken at the King's command and instructions. What 
the service was we are not informed in the memorandum annexed by the 
Exchequer Auditors to the Chamberlain's account, rendered on 27 th April 
1396, which only relates the fact, and minutes that the Earl begged that it 
might be reduced to writing that he had sought, and that he ought to have, 
for reasons stated by him, allocation of £30, Is. 8d. sterling, which he 
had expended in the above piece of service. 2 

In that or the following year, Earl Eobert negotiated a loan with his 
brother the King, in virtue of which the Earl obtained the sum of 
£583, 17s. 7d. In return the Earl granted his letters obligatory, promising to 
repay the money at certain terms within three years. The letters obligatory, 
it is added, are to remain with the King in the coffers in his chamber. 3 

The deplorable state of matters in the northern parts of Scotland called 

1 Registrant Magni Sigilli, p. 213. 2 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iii. p. 404. 3 Ibid. 


urgently for the interference of the Government, and in 1397 the Earl of 
Fife and Menteith, along with Prince David, Earl of Carrick, now in his 
twentieth year, was despatched to compose the differences existing there. 
The account of William Chalmer and Eobert Davidson, customars of 
Aberdeen in that year, contains a payment of £51, 16s. to the expenses of 
the Earl of Fife, and of £40 to the Earl of Carrick. 1 The sums of money 
were not paid to the respective Earls, hut to Walter of Tulach, chamber- 
lain-depute north of the Forth, who in his account, rendered on the 2d of 
May 1398, has the sum of £59, 19s. Gd. allowed for the expenses of 
the Earl of Fife and Menteith. In a note he added that this sum had 
not been paid until the King was consulted, and the matter arranged 
between him and his brother. The Earl had fallen considerably in arrears 
with his accounts, and was in debt to the Treasury. They were therefore 
unwilling to pay more to him until the King, Prince David, the Earl 
himself, and the Privy Council had conferred together and come to an 
understanding. The auditors reported that the Earl was due no less 
than £930, 19s. 7d. Two years later the amount of debt was reduced by 
various ways to £471, 17s. 3d., which the King, with the advice of his 
Council, taking into consideration the expenses and labours of the Earl 
(now Duke of Albany), and for other causes, remitted to him, so that matters 
were now equal between them. 2 

On the 28th of April 1398, during a meeting of the Parliament at Scone, 
the King created his son David, then Earl of Carrick and Athole, Duke 
of Eothesay, and his brother Eobert, then Earl of Fife and Menteith, Duke 
of Albany. 3 The title of Eothesay was taken from the ancient royal 
castle of that name in the island of Bute, and the title of Albany was 

1 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iii. p. 442. 2 Ibid. pp. 461, 513. 

3 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 422. 


supposed to be taken from the country between the Forth and the Spey, 
or Scotland proper. 1 

The services which took place at the investiture of the Dukes on the 
Sunday in the Church of the Monastery of St. Michael at Scone, were con- 
ducted with great pomp and ceremony. The King himself invested them 
with furred mantles and caps, and with the rest of the insignia, suitable 
and customary for Dukes. Walter Trail, the Bishop of St. Andrews, 
celebrated mass and preached before the King and Queen. 2 The proceed- 
ings are said to have been prolonged through fifteen days. 3 This was 
the first appearance of the title of Duke in Scotland, and its introduction 
is said to have been occasioned by a claim of precedency made by the 
Duke of Lancaster over the Earls of Carrick and Fife and Menteith, at a 
meeting of Scottish and English commissioners at Haudenstank, on the 
Borders, near Kelso, in the preceding month.* 

Pinkerton, in mentioning the creation of the two Dukes, displays his usual 
animus against Albany. He says that the heir-apparent of the kingdom was 
created Duke of Bothesay, a miserable hamlet in the Isle of Bute, while the 
whole island would not have afforded a territorial title to a baron ; and the 
Earl of Fife had the real style of heir-apparent in the title of Duke of Albany, 
or of all Scotland north of the Firths of Clyde and Forth. 6 

Pinkerton cites the creation of Albany as another proof of his insatiable 

ambition. But that historian misrepresents the origin of the title of Bothesay, 

which was taken from a great and historical castle, at that time the favourite 

residence of the kings, and where Bobert the Third both lived and died. 

1 Macpherson says that the ducal title of 2 Eegistrum Moraviense, p. 382. 

Albany was totally unconnected with terri- 3 Liber PluscardensiSi p , 330. 

tory, for it is Scotland itself or nothing. — 

P _ , . , Tin i- c a u> 1- tt- * Eymer's Fcedera, vol. viii. p. 35. 

[Geographical Illustrations of Scottish His- 
tory, 1796.] 5 History of Scotland, vol. i. p. 52. 


The title of Rothesay was thus very appropriate for the heir to the throne, 
and it has since continued to be one of the titles of the Princes of 
Scotland. The title of Albany was somewhat sentimental, and did not 
represent any well-defined territory. If, along with the personal title of 
Duke, Albany had received the extensive territory indicated by Pinkerton as 
included in the name, there might have been some ground for charging him 
with ambition ; but there is no evidence that he received in the supposed 
country of Albany even a single acre along with the title. 

The Parliament which met at Perth in the month of January 1399 
appointed the Duke of Eothesay as the King's Lieutenant throughout the 
whole country for three years. For his guidance and assistance a select 
council was named, having at its head the Duke of Albany. The appoint- 
ment of a lieutenant was not a supersession of the Duke of Albany in 
his office of Guardian of Scotland, as he does not appear to have held that 
office after the year 1392. At all events, the payments of his salary as 
Guardian ceased in that year. 

It cannot be denied that much confusion and crime prevailed at this time 
in the country, and that some steps were necessary for the preservation of 
order and the better protection of life and property. But to attribute this 
state of affairs to the wilful mismanagement of the Duke of Albany, who is 
said " to have prostituted his office of Governor to his own selfish designs, 
and purchased the support of the nobles by offering them an immunity for 
their offences," 1 is rather an exaggeration of the reasons assigned in Parliament 
by those who desired the appointment of the Prince. The only mention 
made of the Duke of Albany is as a wise and loyal councillor. As stated, 
he was no longer Governor, and the Parliament, in deploring the state of 
misgovernment in the country, laid the blame heavily upon the King. 

1 Tytler, vol. ii. p. 394. 



Whereas, the Act of Parliament says, it is our judgment that the misgovern- 
ment of the realm and default in the administration of the common law should 
be imputed to the King and his officers ; and if therefore it is the pleasure of 
our lord the King to excuse his own failures, it is in his power to summon his 
officers to whom he has given commission and accuse them before his Council, 
who on hearing their reply would be ready to judge as to their mismanage- 
ment, for no man ought to be condemned before he be called and accused. 

Since, the Act proceeds, it is well seen and known that our- lord the king, 
for sickness of his person, cannot travel to govern the realm, or to restrain 
trespassers and rebels, it appears to the Council most expedient that the 
Duke of Eothesay be the King's Lieutenant generally through all the 
country for the space of three years, having full power and commission of 
the King to govern the land in all things as the Kins; should do in his 
person if he were present ; that is to say, to punish trespassers, to restrain 
trespasses, and to treat and remit with the conditions after following ; that 
is to say, that he be obliged by his letters, and sworn, to govern his person 
and the office committed to him with the Parliament, and in their absence, 
with the Council of wise and loyal men, of whom the names are : — In the 
first, the Duke of Albany, the Lord of Brechin, the Bishops of Andristoun 
(St. Andrews), Glasgow, and Aberdeen, the Earls of Douglas, Boss, Moray, 
and Crawford, the Lord of Dalkeith, Sir Thomas Hay, Constable ; Sir William 
Keith, Marischal; Sir Thomas Erskine, Sir Patrick Graham, Sir John 
Livingstone, Sir William Stewart, Sir John Eamorgny, Adam Forester, the 
Abbot of Holyrood, the Archdean of Lothian, and Mr. Walter Forester : the 
which Parliament and special Council shall be obliged by their letters, and 
sworn to give him faithful counsel for the common profit, not having an eye 
to feed any friendship, etc. 1 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 572. 



There is nothing in the Act to show dissatisfaction with the Duke of 
Albany's discharge of any business intrusted to him, and it can scarcely be 
doubted that although no longer Guardian, some of the weightiest parts of the 
government would devolve on him. He was in the full confidence of the 
Parliament, which placed him at the head of the Council appointed to 
assist the Duke of Eothesay both at home and in foreign affairs. 1 After 
the recent elevation of Prince David to the title of Duke of Eothesay, there 
would be a desire on the part of all to raise him still higher, so that when 
the Parliament decided that a Lieutenant was needed, it was agreed that the 
Prince should be appointed, as it were on trial, for a period of three years. 
There is every probability that the Duke of Albany was as sincere in 
wishing the Prince's success as any of the nobles ; at all events, there is 
no evidence to warrant the imputation of the base motives of which he is 
accused in connection with this, and, indeed, almost every matter in which 
lie was engaged. 

The Duke of Eothesay had talents for government, and had even before 
this been employed in the work of the State both on the Borders and in 
the Highlands. A letter by Eothesay is still preserved in the British 
Museum, which he had probably sent to King Henry the Fourth of England 
during that period. It is dated from Melrose, and is interesting as a 
memento of this ill-fated Prince. A translation of the original, which is in 
Latin, is here given : — 

High and mighty Prince, my most dear and loved cousin, as to the matter of 
which you and the Bishop of St. Andrews have spoken, I have heard and seen what 
you have advised in that matter, and will report it to the King, my lord, and, 
according to what shall seem good to him, will proceed in the advancement of the 
business, by the help of God, in the manner you have proposed, or otherwise, at the 
1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 573. 


time contained in your writing, or sooner if it can well be. High and mighty Prince, 
if there be anything for your pleasure that I can do, courteously please to tell me ; 
and may the Almighty God have you in his most holy keeping. Written at Melrose, 
the 17th day of March. 

David, eldest son of the King of Scotland, Earl of Carrick. 1 

That the Prince was brave is not disputed, and there is reason to believe 
he was to some extent desirous of filling his high post honourably. This is 
proved by his conduct during the English invasion of the following year, 
when King Henry the Fourth of England revived the old claim of his 
predecessors in the English throne to be Lords Paramount of Scotland, and 
gave instructions to his Border Earls to seduce as many of the Scottish 
people from their allegiance to their sovereign as possible. 2 His summons 
to the Scottish Court to acknowledge him as their overlord being treated 
with due contempt, he led a large army into Scotland and laid siege to 
Edinburgh Castle. The castle was then held by the Duke of Rothesay 
and his brother-in-law, Archibald, Earl of Douglas, who were determined 
to resist to the last. To assist them the Duke of Albany assembled a 
considerable army, and proceeded to Calder Moor, where he encamped to 
await the issue of events. A historian relates that some jealousies or 
misunderstandings existed between the Dukes of Albany and Eothesay, 
which prevented the former from approaching nearer to the city. 3 But by 
waiting, a combat was avoided, as the English, running short of provi- 
sions, and learning that a rebellion had broken out in Wales, retraced 
their steps without accomplishing their object. This invasion took place 
in the month of August 1400. 4 

Whatever coolness there may have been at this period between the uncle 

1 National mss. of Scotland, Part II. No. 51. 3 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 430. 

2 Rotuli SeotiaB, vol. ii. p. 161. * Kymer's Fcedera, vol. viii. p. 158. 


and nephew, a few months later they seem to have both been present at a 
Parliament held at Scone on 21st February 1401, 1 when various measures 
were passed tending to benefit the realm. Weak as the government of Scot- 
land during the reign of King Eobert the Third certainly was, it is interesting 
to note almost the first attempts at a legislation tending to render property 
more secure, and to check the grasping violence of the feudal barons, who 
often took advantage of their power to resume lands illegally from their 
vassals. This abuse, which interrupted both the agricultural and commercial 
improvement of the country, it was striven to redress by strict legislation in 
regard to brieves of inquests for services of heirs, and by special regulations 
as to the legal relations between a vassal and his overlord. The question of 
succession to younger brothers was also settled. The King's lieutenants and 
other judges were specially commanded to hear and do speedy justice on the 
complaints of churchmen, widows, orphans, and pupils or minors, a class of 
persons who were peculiarly liable to suffer from the strong hand. Other enact- 
ments of a similar character were made, and whatever share either of the two 
royal Dukes had in promoting these beneficial measures, there can be no doubt 
they could not have been passed without the consent of the Duke of Albany, 
himself the lord of two earldoms, and the head of the Council of State. 

The tenor of these Acts passed during his lieutenancy seems to throw a 
darker shade upon the conduct of the Duke of Eothesay, who, whatever his 
talents for government may have been, abused to an alarming extent the 
too absolute powers placed in his hands. He forced the provincial customs 
officers to supply him with money, and when they refused, he took it from 
them by force, in one case seizing and detaining the person of the officer 
until he paid the sum demanded. His private conduct was scandalous, and 
ultimately proved dangerous to the State. Although engaged to be married 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. pp. 575, 576. 
VOL. I. Y 


to the daughter of George Dunbar, Earl of March, he slighted her, and for the 
sake of a larger dowry married Marjory Douglas, the daughter of Archibald, 
third Earl of Douglas, which gave great offence to the Earl of March, and 
was the occasion of war with England, whither that Earl, after casting off 
his allegiance to Kins; Eobert the Third, betook himself. Before leaving 
his castle, the Earl of March wrote the following letter to King Henry the 
Fourth of England. It shows the depth of resentment to which Eothesay's 
act gave rise : — 

Excellent, mychty, and noble Prince, likis yhour realte, to wit, that I am gretly 
wrangit be the Due of Kothesay, the quhilk spousit my douchter, and now agayn hys 
oblisyng to me, made be hys lettre and his seal and agaynes the law of halikirc, 
spouses aue other wif, as it ys said, of the quhilk wrangis and defowle to me and my 
douchter in swilk manere done, I, as ane of yhour poer kyn, gif it likis yhow, requeris 
yhow of help and suppowell fore swilk honest seruice as I may do efter my power to 
yhour noble lordship and to yhour lande ; fore tretee of the quhilk matere will yhe 
dedeyn to charge the Lord the Eournivalle, ore the Erie of Westmerland at yhour 
likyng, to the Marche with swilk gudely haste as yhow likis, qware that I may haue 
spekyng with quhilk of thaim that yhe will send, and schew hym clerly myne entent, 
the quhilk I darre nocht discouer to nane other bot tyll ane of thaim be cause of kyn, 
and the grete lewtee that I traist in thaim, and as I suppose yhe traist in thaim, on 
the tother part : Alsa, noble Prince, will yhe dedeyn to graunt and to send me yhour 
saufconduyt, endurand quliill the fest of the natiuitie of Seint John the Baptist, fore a 
hundreth knichtis and squiers, and seruantz, gudes, hors and hernais, als wele within 
wallit town as with owt, or in qwat other resonable manere that yhow likis, fore 
trauaillyng and dwellyng within yhour land gif I hafe myster. And, excellent 
Prince, syn that I clayme to be of kyn till yhow, and it peraventour nocht knawen on 
yhour parte, I schew it to yhour lordschip be this my lettre that gif Dame Alice the 
Bowmount was yhour graunde dame, dame Mariory Comyne, hyrre full sister, was my 
graunde dame on the tother syde, sa that I am bot of the feirde degre of kyn tyll yhow, 
the quhilk in aide tyme was callit neire ; and syn I am in swilk degre tyll yhow, I 



requere yhow, as be way of tendirness thare of, and fore my seruice in manere as I hafe 

before writyn, that yhe will vouchesauf tyll help me and suppowell me tyll gete 

amendes of the wrangis and the defowle that ys done me, sendand tyll me gif yhow 

likis yhour answere of this, with all gudely haste : And, noble Prince, mervaile yhe 

nocht that I write my lettres in Englis, fore that ys mare clere to myne vnderstandyng 

than Latyne ore Fraunche. Excellent, mychty, and noble Prince, the haly Trinite hafe 

yhow euermare in kepyng. Writyn at my castell of Dunbarr, the xviii day of Feuerer 


Le Count de la Marche Descoce. 

An tresexcellent, trespuissant, et tresnoble Prince le Roy Dengleterre. 1 

The King of England granted the safe-conduct craved by the Earl on 
the 8th of March following, and four days later issued instructions to 
Ealph, Earl of Westmoreland, and the Abbot of Alnwick, to meet with 
the Earl of March and negotiate matters, 2 the result of which was that 
he was received by the English King, and afterwards served him faithfully 
for some years against his own countrymen. One result of this secession 
was the invasion of Scotland above referred to. 

Unhappily also for the Prince, the death, in the year 1401, of his mother, 
Queen Anabella Drummond, who had in some degree checked his licen- 
tiousness and folly, loosed the last bond of restraint; and, spurning the 
warnings of his Council, he plunged anew into the depths of his former 
courses, whereupon the Council informed the King of his conduct. The 
term of three years for which the Prince had been appointed had now 
expired, and the King, in his own helplessness and decrepitude, wrote to 
his brother the Duke of Albany, as Governor of the kingdom, to arrest 
the Prince and keep him in custody for a time, until, chastised by the 
rod of discipline, he should learn to demean himself better. 3 Sir William 

1 National mss. of Scotland, Part II. No. 53. 2 Eotuli Scotiav, vol. ii. p. 153. 

3 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 431. 



Lindsay of Eossie and Sir John Eamorgny, two Councillors of the King's 
household, were the messengers and bearers of the letter from the King 
to his brother Albany. Both of these knights were said to have had a 
grudge against the Prince, the former because the Prince had plighted his 
troth to his sister Euphemia of Lindsay, but had abandoned her in the 
same way as he had done the daughter of the Earl of March. Sir John 
Eamorgny, who was held in high estimation as a councillor both to the 
King and the Prince, was a bold and eloquent man, learned in the law, and 
was the King's prolocutor in difficult cases. He was a pensioned retainer 
of the Duke of Eothesay, and for a time acted as his Chamberlain ; even 
the Queen employed his services, and on two occasions he was intrusted 
with the conduct of negotiations in France and in England. 1 Yet he, it 
was said, had first of all suggested to the Duke of Eothesay to lay hands 
on his uncle Albany, and put him to death when occasion offered. The 
Prince, to his credit, spurned the diabolical suggestion. Sir John Eamorgny 
afterwards, it was said, suggested to the Duke of Albany to take the 
Prince's life, for if he did not, he added, the Duke of Eothesay intended to 
take his. 

These two knights are said to have proposed to the King the course to 
be taken, and after the King had given instructions to his brother, they 
counselled the Prince to take possession of the castle of St. Andrews, as 
the Bishop of that see had lately died, and to hold it for his father until 
the appointment of a successor. The Prince, acting on their advice, set 
out with a sniaU retinue for St. Andrews ; but while he was on the way, 
and between the towns of Nydie and Strathtyrum, they arrested him, and 
conveyed him by force to the castle of St. Andrews. Here he was detained 
until information had been conveyed to the Duke of Albany, who was 

1 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iii. pp. 445-701. 

HIS DEATH, 1402. 


then with the Council at Culross. The Council were acquainted with 
what had taken place, and after consultation as to what should be done, 
the Duke of Albany, together with the Prince's brother-in-law, Archibald, 
Earl of Douglas, repaired to St. Andrews, and with a party of soldiers 
conveyed the Prince to Falkland Tower. The Prince during the journey 
to Falkland was scarcely treated with the honour due to his rank, being 
set on a baggage-horse, with a rough russet cloak thrown over his shoulders 
on account of the cold and heavy rain. In Falkland he was placed in 
an " honourable apartment," and intrusted to the care of John Wright, 
constable of the castle, and another retainer, John Selkirk. During 
his confinement there the unfortunate Prince died from dysentery on the 
26th March 1402, and was buried in Lindores Abbey. Some said that his 
death was caused by starvation. 

The disease of dysentery, which was the reputed cause of Eothesay's 
death, became very prevalent towards the end of the regency of Duke Piobert, 
and in the beginning of the regency of his son, Duke Murdach. It was 
popularly called the "Quhew." 1 Many persons of all ranks were cut off 
by that fatal malady. Among these were Henry Sinclair, Earl of Orkney, 
James Douglas, Lord of Dalkeith, and George Dunbar, Earl of March, who 
was one of the most fortunate warriors of his age. 

The Duke of Albany has been ostentatiously charged by certain modern 
historians with the murder of his nephew, having the Earl of Douglas as an 
accomplice. But this grave charge is not only not proven, but the case is 
long since a res judicata, having been decided after a formal trial by the 
highest court in the nation, by whom the accused were openly acquitted. 

1 Pordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 460. Only " ferd mortalyte," meaning the fourth plague 
a year or two before the death of Rothesay or pestilence. [Old Chronicle MS., Pieg. 17 
an old chronicler records that there was the D. xx, as quoted by Pinkerton, vol. i. p. 502.] 


The death of the Prince is stated in an authoritative document, to be after- 
wards referred to, as entirely owing to natural causes ; while the only his- 
torian of the age who notices with any detail the circumstances of his death, 
states that dysentery was the cause. Nor was this by any means an unlikely 
cause. All admit the debauchery and excesses of the prince, a course of 
life which, at his years, could only be expected to have its natural issue in 
a premature death. The circumstances of his capture, and his exposure to 
the inclemency of the weather, would tend to foster the germs of such a 
disease, which no doubt was fatally accelerated by compulsory confinement 
and its attendant grief to a high-spirited youth. Eothesay's conduct had so 
scandalised the nation that restraint was a necessity. His guardians, Alban} r 
and Douglas, who were so appointed for the public good, were not responsible 
for its results. 

In " The Fair Maid of Perth," Eothesay, his father the King, and his uncle 
Albany, afforded excellent subjects for the splendid powers of Sir Walter 
Scott. His portrait of King Eobert the Third is drawn with a masterly 
hand, a fine mixture of reality and romance. In the dialogue between 
Eothesay and Sir John Eamorgny, who is represented as one of the prince's 
profligate associates, the novelist thus makes Eothesay describe himself: — 

" I think I know your cast of morals, Sir John ; you are weary of merry 
folly, — the churchmen call it vice, — and long for a little serious crime. A 
murder now, or a massacre, would enhance the flavour of debauch, as the 
taste of the olive gives zest to wine. But my worst acts are but merry 
malice ; I have no relish for the bloody trade, and abhor to see or hear of its 
being acted even on the meanest caitiff. Should I ever fill the throne, I 
suppose, like my father before me, I must drop my own name, and be dubbed 
Eobert in honour of the Bruce — well, an' if it be so — every Scots lad shall 
have his flagon in one hand, and the other around his lass's neck, and 


manhood shall be tried by kisses and bumpers, not by dirks and dourlachs ; 
and they shall write on my grave, ' Here lies Eobert, fourth of his name. He 
won not battles like Eobert the First. He rose not from a count to a kins; 
like Eobert the Second. He founded not churches like Eobert the Third, but 
was contented to live and die king of good fellows !' Of all my two centuries 
of ancestors, I would only emulate the fame of 

' Old King Coul 
Who had a brown bowl.'" 

Albany has been represented as ambitious, and that to further his own 
ends he compassed the death of his nephew. If so, it has been left to later 
historians to discover the fact, as contemporary historians not only do not 
accuse Albany of the murder of Eothesay, but give him a very flattering 
character, altogether inconsistent with his having been guilty of such an 
odious crime. Such a crime, too, is all the more improbable when the Earl of 
Douglas is accused as an accomplice, whose own advancement and that of 
his family would have been better secured by the succession of his brother- 
in-law to the Crown than by his death. 

In the time of Eothesay the alliances between the royal house of Stewart 
and the noble house of Douglas were very close. Eothesay had married 
Marjory Douglas, daughter of Archibald, third Earl of Douglas ; and her 
brother, Archibald, the fourth Earl, was married to the Princess Margaret, 
the eldest sister of Eothesay. Eothesay and Douglas were thus doubly 
brothers-in-law. The Princess Mary, the second sister of Eothesay, was 
married to George Douglas, first Earl of Angus, cousin of the Earl of Douglas, 
while the Princess Elizabeth, the youngest sister of Eothesay, was married 
to James Douglas, Lord of Dalkeith. The three sisters of Eothesay were 
thus married to the representatives of the three Douglas families of Douglas, 
Angus, and Dalkeith. 


The Earl of Douglas, as well as his cousins of Angus and Dalkeith, had 
thus every motive to preserve the life of Rothesay, and when the Earl of 
Douglas was charged along with Albany as the murderer of the Prince, it 
is not surprising that the charge utterly broke down, and that the accused 
received an ample exculpation. Indeed, all the romance which novelists, 
founding upon the fables of Boece, have woven round the untimely death of 
this ill-fated Prince, vanish before the light furnished by the legal evidence 
bearing upon the case, as well as the testimony of contemporary historians. 

The death of his son was a severe blow to the infirm King, who beheld 
the hopes he had cherished all shattered, and to a great extent by his own 
over-indulgence to the Prince. The peculiar circumstances in which the 
death of Kothesay had occurred stirred the popular mind to a feeling of 
mournful regret for the sprightly but profligate Prince. Eumours were 
raised of foul play on the part of the Duke of Albany and Earl of Douglas 
towards Eothesay. The suspicion got abroad, and probably at the request 
of the accused it was made the subject of a judicial investigation by 
the Parliament which met at Edinburgh on the 16th of May 1402 and 
following days, when Albany and Douglas were declared to have been un- 
justly suspected. To set the matter finally at rest, the King himself, on 
the 20th May 1402, caused letters to be prepared under the Great Seal, 
which embodied the result of the investigation by the Parliament. The 
letters recited that the Duke of Albany and Earl of Douglas had caused 
the Duke of Eothesay to be arrested and placed in the castle of St. Andrews, 
afterwards at Falkland, where he is known to have departed this life by 
Divine Providence, and not otherwise. The document proceeds to relate 
that the Duke and Earl compeared before the Parliament, and on being 
accused before the King and questioned by him, admitted that they had 
arrested the Duke of Eothesay, and that he had died in their custody. 


Their reasons for the arrest, which were said to be concerned with the 

public welfare, they intimated privately to the King, who did not think 

fit to make them known in the present circumstances. All things being 

taken into consideration, and deliberately and gravely discussed by the 

Parliament, the King openly and publicly declared in Parliament that his 

brother Eobert, and his son-in-law Archibald, were innocent and free of 

the charge of treason, and from every charge of blame, rancour, or injury 

which might be imputed to them in connection with this event. The King 

further declares that whatever indignation or offence he had conceived 

against them in this matter, he now voluntarily, from his own certain 

knowledge, and in accordance , with the judgment of this Parliament, 

renounced, and wished it to be considered annihilated for ever ; and he ends 

the declaration by strictly forbidding all his subjects, whatever their state 

or condition, to detract, by word or deed, from the good fame of the Duke 

and Earl. 1 

After the investigation thus made by the Parliament, and their decision, 

as well as that of the father of the Prince himself; considering also the 

facts stated by the historians of the time, that the Prince was taken by 

command of his father, and only placed in ward at Falkland after the 

Council had agreed that it should be so ; and further, considering the 

great attachment of the Duke of Albany to his brother King Eobert, 

and the high character which is given to him by his contemporaries, he 

must be freed from the imputation of causing the death of his nephew the 

Duke of Pothesay. There is not a shadow of anything like proof to show 

that he was guilty of such a crime; none of the attendant circumstances 

can be legitimately construed as pointing to his guilt. Albany did but 

his duty to his country, his King, and the Prince himself, by putting him 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 5S2. 
VOL. 1. Z 


under the restraint which his own father authorised, but was himself too 
weak to impose, and it is a great injustice to the memory of this famous 
Regent to affirm that because the Prince died under his roof he was guilty 
of his murder. No less is it a most unworthy slur against the Scottisli 
nobility to insinuate that though they believed the Duke of Albany guilty, 
they were afraid to raise their voice against him. This accords ill with the 
known disposition of the noblemen of that age, who, if they were in some 
respects rude, had at least something of rough honesty at a time when 
refined diplomacy had less place. Nor was the Duke of Albany the 
overbearing tyrant which he is represented to be, for from the Exchequer 
Bolls we find that the Duke was frequently taken to task by the 
Exchequer Auditors, and money refused to him by them. Was it likely 
that the proud nobility could be more easily intimidated than these officers 
of the Crown, who were probably appointed by Albany himself as Kegent ? 
Those who have defamed the memory of the Duke ought at least to have 
founded on facts which might stand the light of research ; but not a single 
fact has been produced to prove that Albany was guilty of the murder of 

The Duke of Albany had taken advantage of a short truce which 
followed the retreat of the English from Edinburgh to obtain from England 

DO o 

renewed supplies of grain and malt. On his behalf two merchants obtained 
a safe-conduct from the King of England to enable them to purchase 
an hundred quarters of each of these commodities and convey them to 
Scotland. At the same time, and bearing the same date as the safe-conduct 
for the merchants, 11th February 1401, permission was obtained for John of 
Cornton, chaplain to the Duke of Albany, Henry of Wedale, John Portere, 
Richard Johnesone, Nicholas of the Hall, and John Levenax, with six 
servants, to proceed to different parts of England on the business of the Duke 


of Albany. 1 Another safe-conduct was granted on the 1st September, the 
same year, at the special request of the Duke, for six of his retainers, Henry 
of Wedall, William Ydil, Bichard Johanson, John of the Chamber, John 
Porter, and John of Levenax, and six servants, to procure two sets of armour 
from London for the Duke's own use, also twelve hogsheads of wine and 
four hundred quarters of grain. 2 

Duke Eobert was appealed to by the burghers of Perth and Dundee to 
act as arbiter in a dispute between them as to their rights to purchase the 
cargoes of ships trading on a venture and entering the Firth of Tay. The 
burgesses of Perth laid claim to this as an exclusive right, averring that no 
such ship should discharge her merchandise before reaching the Bridge of 
Tay. Against this the Dundee burgesses stoutly reclaimed, stating that they 
had a free haven for all such ships. Both burghs bound themselves to receive 
the award as final. At the meeting of Council the procurators of both burghs 
were present, and the burgesses of Dundee were successful in obtaining a 
decree authorising them to buy any ships on trading ventures that were willing 
to put in at their port, notwithstanding the claims made by Perth. In the 
award, which was given in the Friars' Church of Edinburgh, on 19th May 
1402, the Duke only designs himself Chamberlain of Scotland. There were 
with him tw T o bishops, a number of knights, and others to form a Council. 3 

It would appear, however, that on the expiry of the Duke of Eothesay's 
period of lieutenancy, the Duke of Albany was again created governor of the 
realm under his brother the King. He began by taking steps to avenge the 
inroads which the English, under the leadership of the Percies and the Earl 
of March, had been making since the departure of the latter from Scotland. 
Humours of an intended invasion by the Duke of Albany and Earl of Douglas 

1 Rotuli Scotise, vol. ii. p. 156. 3 Charters, etc., relating to the Burgh of 

- Ibid. p. 159. Dundee, p. IS. 


reached Westminster. The King of England instructed his northern sheriffs 
to prepare for the fray, by letters dated 23d May 1402. 1 The only conflict 
that then followed was that at Nesbit Moor on 22d June, where a small body 
of the Scots, under the command of Sir Patrick Hepburn of Hailes, was 
vanquished by March and Percy. 2 To revenge this defeat the Earl of Douglas 
collected his forces, and requested the counsel and help of the Governor, as 
he was desirous, if he consented, of invading England. The Duke of Albany 
approved of the Earl's purpose, and sent along with him his son Murdach, 
Master of Fife, and the Earls of Angus and Moray. Having mustered an 
army of about ten thousand men, they entered England and ravaged the 
country as far as Neweastle-on-Tyne, but on their return were intercepted by 
Percy, who, counselled by the Earl of March, had delayed his attack till the 
Scots, laden with booty, had commenced their retreat. On observing the 
English posted in front of him, the Earl of Douglas drew up his troops in a 
compact phalanx on an eminence called Homildon Hill, a disposition which 
proved fatal to the Scots, as it exposed them to the shafts of the English 
bowmen. Great slaughter was made by the arrows among the troops of 
Douglas before they could strike a blow in return, and when, maddened by 
the galling fire, they broke their ranks and rushed forward to meet the 
enemy, it was at a great disadvantage. They were entirely defeated, many 
prisoners being taken, among whom was Murdach Stewart, the eldest son of 
the Duke of Albany. The Earls of Douglas, Moray, and Angus, and a great 
number of noblemen, were also taken, and on receiving news of the victory, 
the King of England sent special instructions to the Earl of Northumberland, 
and the two leaders of the English troops, that none of the prisoners, what- 
ever their rank or station, were to be released on ransom. 3 

1 Rymer's Foedera, vol. viii. p. 257. ' z Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 433. 

3 Rymer's Foedera, vol. viii. p. 278. 


After his victories at iSTesbit Moor and Homilclon, Percy proposed to the 
Earl of March that they should lay waste the whole of the south of Scotland, 
beginning at the Marches at least as far north as the Firth of Forth, or 
Scottish Sea as it was then called. On March consenting, their united forces 
laid siege to the Castle of Cocklaws in Teviotdale, which was commanded 
by John Greenlaw, its captain. The fortalice sustained the siege bravely, 
until the captain, seeing no hope of succour, agreed to capitulate, unless 
relieved by the King or Governor in six weeks. The terms were agreed 
to, and Percy withdrew from the siege. Meanwhile, John Gledstanes of 
that Ilk, who was lord of the castle, bore the tidings of the siege and treaty 
to the King, then at Buchan, who sent him with letters to the Duke of 
Albany at Falkland, instructing him to call a council and consult what was 
to be done. The Duke, on hearing the tidings, was amazed, and blamed 
the stupidity of the captain, but forbade him upon pain of death to imple- 
ment the treaty. He commanded him to persevere in holding out the castle, 
in the hope that it would be relieved, and he would soon inform him as to 
what was finally to be done. As the shortness of the time did not permit 
the convocation of Parliament, the Governor wrote to the more sagacious 
prelates and magnates in the neighbourhood to meet with him at Falkland, 
and advise what was to be done. At the conference all expressed the opinion 
that the fortress should be given up to the English, as it did not seem worth 
while imperilling the safety of the kingdom on its account. On hearing this, 
the Duke, not a little indignant, arose in their midst, and pointing to 
his page, Patrick of Kinbuck, who was standing at a distance, exclaimed 
warmly, " I vow to God and St. Fillan that if in life I shall be there on 
the appointed day, although none but my boy Pate should accompany me." 1 

1 St. Fillan appears to have been the patron there was a chapel dedicated to that saint, 
saint of Albany. In his Castle of Doune and on the banks of the river Teith, a short 


All were astonished at the warmth of the Duke, and with tears of joy 
replied, " May God confirm this your purpose, and those of us who are 
soldiers, placing our trust in the Most High, shall not he wanting in this 
important business." The Governor immediately afterwards assembled 
an army and proceeded to Cocklaws ; but before coming thither, he, among 
other achievements, took the Castle of Innerwick in East Lothian, and razed 
it to the ground. 

Percy had departed from Cocklaws soon after the making of the treaty 
with its captain, as his real purpose in raising his forces seems to have been 
to contest the right of Henry the Fourth of England to the throne. An 
extensive insurrection had been planned, but some of the conspirators 
withdrew from the plot, and the English King, having received timely 
information, met the troops of Percy at Shrewsbury. In the engagement 
which followed Percy was killed, and the news of his death was intimated to 
the Duke of Albany on his arrival at Cocklaws. He thereupon invested the 
fortress with his army, and having intimated the tidings withdrew, and 
immediately afterwards dismissed it. 1 The army led by the Duke is said to 
have consisted of fifty thousand horse and almost as many foot soldiers, 
among whom there seems to have been an impression that there was an 
understanding between Percy and the Governor. However, the Duke of 
Albany by this movement prevented any claim which England might 
afterwards have made for the fulfilment of the treaty made between Percy 
and the captain of Cocklaws. Soon afterwards a truce was arranged between 
England and France, and on a suggestion being made that Scotland as the 
ally of France might be included, the King of England commenced negotia- 

way below the Castle of Doune, there was within and without the Castle of Doune. 

another chapel dedicated to the same saint. 

They were called the chapels of St. Fillan ' Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. pp. 435-4S8. 



tions for peace, with the result that a truce between England and Scotland 
was also agreed to. 1 

When Walter Trail, Bishop of St. Andrews, died, Thomas Stewart, 
Archdeacon of St. Andrews, a brother of King Eobert and the Duke of 
Albany, was chosen bishop-elect in his place ; but before his appointment 
was confirmed by the Pope, he was prevailed upon by Albany to decline the 
office. It appears that Walter of Denniston, parson of Kincardine O'jSTeil, 
had occupied the Castle of Dumbarton in the year 1399, and still held it in 
1402, and would not render it to the King unless he was promised the see 
of St. Andrews. To avoid anything like civil strife, the Duke of Albany, as 
remarked, procured his election by prevailing on his brother to resign, so that 
the parson might obtain it. Walter of Denniston thereupon gave up the 
castle, and obtained the bishopric, but did not long enjoy it, as he died in the 
end of the same year. 2 The castle was afterwards in the hands of the King, 
who held his Court there in the close of the year 1403. 3 

The Duke of Albany continued to attend to the duties of his office 
as the King's lieutenant, 4 and is generally found at the court of his 
royal brother, now at Linlithgow, now at Eothesay, at Perth, and other 

So many were the duties of the Duke at this time that all of them 
could not be attended to by him in person. Some were deputed to others, 
and some were left undone. In 1403, when the first year of Albany's 
lieutenancy since the death of the Duke of Eothesay had expired, there was 
a deficiency in the exchequer, and the fee for the office had not been paid ; 
whereupon the Duke complained and protested for its payment, both for the 
past year and for the future, according to the resolution of the King and 

1 Rymer's Foedera, vol. viii. pp. 3 IS, 303. 

2 Wyntotm's Cronykil, vol. ii. pp. 389-399. 

3 Antiquities of Aberdeen, vol. ii. p. 140. 

4 ReL'istrnm Aberdonense, vol. i. p. 209. 


Parliament. He explained that for a whole year he had laboured and 
incurred expenses in the discharge of this office of lieutenant, but as he had 
not held the Statute Courts, he had not been able to levy any fees. Some of 
these courts he had assigned to deputies, and at the instance of his Privy 
Council had delayed others, and there were no other sources of royal income 
from which he could uplift his fee. 1 The sum of £182, 0s. 6|-d. was paid 
to him in the following year in part payment of his services as the King's 
lieutenant, but strictly on condition that he should produce at next 
auditing of Exchequer an account of his fees for holding Statute Courts, 
and all other fees of his office. 2 The Duke was also himself frequently 
engaged in the work of the auditors of the Treasury, and received several 
payments on that account. 3 He also discharged part of the duties 
pertaining to the office of his son Murdach, who had been created justiciar 
north of the Forth, but was at that time a prisoner in England. For 
holding five ayres between the 9th of July 1404 and the 27th March 1406, 
the Duke of Albany received a payment of £100. In the absence of his 
son Murdach, the Duke protested for the payment of 400 marks of arrears 
of pension due to him by the custumars of Aberdeen. 4 

Both the Duke of Albany and the King were naturally desirous for 
the restoration of Murdach Stewart and the Earl of Douglas, also a prisoner 
in England, and Sir David Fleming and Sir William Murehead were sent 
there as commissioners to negotiate for their release, and to arrange a peace 
between the kingdoms. The King of England met the wishes of King 
Pobert by appointing commissioners on his own side to confer with those 
of the Scots, 5 and a truce was entered into, to last until the following Easter, 6 

1 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iii. p. 589. 4 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iii. p. G45. 

2 Ibid. p. 610. 5 Rotuli Scotias, vol. ii. p. 167. 

3 Ibid. pp. 644-64". c Rymer's Fcedera, vol. viii. p. 363. 


but no progress was made towards releasing the prisoners. Another com- 
missioner, Eothesay Herald, King-of-Arms, seems to have been despatched 
to the English Court some time afterwards with a letter from the Duke 
of Albany, and to have obtained for Murdach Stewart the privilege of being 
kept at the Court of King Henry the Fourth, to which arrangement, although 
it would in due time increase the amount of ransom by the greater expense 
of residence, the Duke of Albany agreed. Eothesay Herald was again sent 
to Westminster with another letter from the Duke, who thanks the King 
of England for his consideration to his son, and refers to the bearer for an ex- 
planation why the day appointed for conferring anent a truce had not been kept. 
This reference fixes the date of the letter as the year 1404. 1 The original 
letter in Latin is in the British Museum. The following is a translation : — 

Most Excellent Prince, — I believe it is sufficiently known to your Highness how 
I lately wrote to you by Eothesay Herald, King-of-Arms, that I was most willing that 
you should keep my son, Murdach Stewart, your kinsman, if it please you, with you in 
your honourable court, and that I would rather have a conference with yourself upon 
his release than with any of your subjects. And now I have learned by messengers, 
that after he came to your honourable presence you caused him to be treated 
honourably, and with favour, for which I now thank your excellency from my heart, 
requesting your excellency to continue the same good treatment towards him in future. 
Moreover, most excellent Prince, your letters last presented to me by the said Rothesay 
I have received thankfully as was meet, and have fully understood the credence given 
to him by you, how graciously you replied with regard to the release of my foresaid 
son, that if I should send any of my people to your royal Majesty concerning the same 
and other business interesting me, you would, on their arrival, act so kindly and 
graciously in these matters, that I should have reason to be content. I also return 
thanks as much as I can to your royal Highness, both for your favourable audience and 
for the kind conference held with the said Rothesay on different occasions, on my part, 

1 Kymer's Fcerlera, vol. viii. pp. 345, 34S. 
VOL. I. 2 A 


about the foresaid matters and others most tenderly touching the state of both 
kingdoms, as you know, and that you 'would have him excused if you please, for that 
he has not yet come to your Majesty as he promised to you, as I am given to understand 
that by a certain cause he had been prevented, as he can clearly explain to you by word 
of mouth ; and him I thought fit at present specially to commission to your Majesty 
upon certain matters touching my said son, and divers other things which have been 
previously spoken of between you and him, and also to intimate to your Highness how 
that last day on the Marches, in the month of February last past, assigned for holding 
a conference between the commissioners of my dread sovereign the King and your 
commissioners, by reason of an unforeseen accident failed and miscarried, as the said 
Rothesay by word of mouth can more fully explain to you. To whom, in what he has 
to say concerning the said matters and others on my part, kindly deign to give audience 
and firm credence. And if there be anything useful to be done in these parts, be 
pleased to inform me of the same by the said King-of-Arms or other messengers, and I 
will willingly perform them to the best of my power. May the Most High be pleased 
to preserve your royal Majesty for the peace and quiet of your people. Written at our 
Manor of Falkland, the second day of the month of June (1404). 
Your kinsman, if it please you, 

Robert, Duke of Albany, 
Brother-german of the King of Scotland, and his Lieutenant-General. 

To the most excellent and most serene Prince, Lord Henry, by the grace of God, 
King of the English. 1 

Communications of an epistolary nature seem to have been at that 
time more frequent between the two kingdoms than the scanty number of 
manuscripts now preserved would indicate. From the same source we 
obtain another letter by the Duke of Albany, as the King's lieutenant, on a 
matter which employed the pens of not only the Duke, but the King himself, 
the Bishop of St. Andrews, the Earl of Crawford, and David Fleming, 2 while 
1 National mss. of Scotland, Part II. No. 57. " Ibid. No. 56. 


Commissioners were also sent to make verbal explanations. A translation 

of this letter, 1 which was written in the beginning of the year 1405, is also 

here given : — 

Most Illustrious Prince and Lord, — May it please your serene Highness to know 

that in these days last bygone, namely, on the fourteenth day of the month of December, 

some of your lieges, with an armed barge, attacked, took, and carried off with them a 

certain ship coming from the parts of Flanders laden with divers goods and effects to the 

city of St. Andrews, worth and appraised by the common estimation of trustworthy 

merchants at one thousand pounds of sterlings and upwards, within the bounds of the 

rivers and territory of my Lord the King, and landed at the port of Halyeland in your 

kingdom, with the said goods and ship, contrary to the truce last agreed on and entered 

into and sworn on both sides by you and my Lord the King ; and since my Lord the 

King always is and has been in the intention of keeping the said truce unimpaired and 

undisturbed both by him and his people, he is confident that you ought to do the same 

in all respects, because by the grace of God, not the smallest offence shall be wrought 

against the effect of the foresaid truce by my said Lord or his subjects as far as in them 

lies. I therefore beg and entreat your serene Highness, as earnestly as I can, to be 

pleased to cause the said ship with its goods to be restored and made good, so that in 

this matter the honour of your royal Majesty may be preserved unhurt. Upon which 

my Lord the King also writes to your serene Highness more fully and at length. But, 

most serene Prince and Lord, for furnishing further and fuller information to you in the 

premises, there goes to the presence of your serene Highness, Thomas Ra, citizen of 

St. Andrews, with certain others joined with him, whom deign to receive very graciously 

on our recommendation, and aid them in the successful and desired recovery of the said 

goods and ship by your opportune royal favours. May the Most High preserve your 

royal Majesty through happier times. Written at Stirling, the tenth day of January 


Robert, Duke of Albany, Earl of Fife and of Menteith, 

Brother-germau of the King of Scotland, and his Lieutenant-General. 

To the most excellent Lord Henry. 

1 National MRS. of Scotland, Part II. No. 55. 


Grief for the death of his eldest son had told heavily on the feeble mind 
of Eobert the Third, but his spirit was utterly broken by a disaster which now 
befell his only surviving son, Prince James, a youth of fourteen years, and 
an object of much solicitude to him. James had been placed under the care 
of Henry Wardlaw, Bishop of St. Andrews, a learned and judicious prelate, 
and had for his companion Henry Percy, son of the Percy slain at Shrews- 
bury, a lad about the same age as himself. The fears of the King for his 
son's safety, and his desire to secure for him as perfect an education as 
possible, led him to send James to the French Court. On his way to France, 
the Prince, with his guardian and attendants, was taken by an English vessel 
off Flamborough Head, and conveyed to the King at London, where he was 
placed in the Tower. The unfortunate Eobert received the news of his son's 
capture while sitting at supper in his castle of Eothesay in Bute, and was 
so affected with the disaster that he rejected all food, refused to be comforted, 
and, sinking under his grief, died on the 4th of April 1406. 1 

The Earl of Northumberland and his grandson Henry Percy had, after 
the failure of the conspiracy against King Henry the Fourth of England, 
betaken themselves for safety to the Castle of St. Andrews, where they, witli 
another English nobleman, Lord Bardolph, were kindly entertained. One 
historian asserts that the Duke of Albany, in order to procure the release 
of his son Murdach and the Earl of Douglas, resolved to deliver up the 
Earl of Northumberland and Lord Bardolph to the King of England, and 
adds that the base project was only accidentally discovered by Sir David 
Fleming, who revealed it to the two noblemen, and counselled flight. 2 
Although no authority is given for the assertion, it affords occasion to the 
historian again to denounce the Duke of Albany's treachery. So prejudiced 
is this author against Albany, that he charges him with almost every evil 
1 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 439. 2 Tytler's History of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 451. 



which happened in his time. Even a Lollard could not be taken to the stake 
but the Duke of Albany is held to have incited the clergy to the cruel deed, 
although churchmen scarcely required the State to stir them up to this 
work. 1 Wyntoun's account of how the Earl of Northumberland and Lord 
Bardolph met their fate is ignored by this historian, for the reason, perhaps, 
that the share assigned to Albany in the matter does not accord with his 
own notions of the Duke's character. Wyntoun relates that the old Earl 
of Northumberland, when he could no longer find safety by remaining in 
England, sought it by travelling in France, and afterwards in Scotland, where 
he was honourably received by the Bishop of St. Andrews. On the invitation 
of Albany, Northumberland and Bardolph removed from St. Andrews to 
Perth, so that being farther from the sea they might be less liable to the 
dangers of capture. While they remained in Perth they were kindly treated 
by the Duke ; and when letters came from England, inviting them back to 
their own country, he strongly advised them not to go, but to remain where 
they were for some time longer, as he suspected it was a stratagem to entrap 
them. They, however, resolved to go, as they did not think any Englishman 
north of York would seek to injure them. Albany put no obstacle in their 
way. They went, and were put to death by Kichard Eukby, one of the 
vassals of the Earl of Northumberland, who had sent the invitations, and 
after their death he cut off their heads, and sent them to the King of 
England. 2 The account given by Fordun is to the same effect. 3 

Walsingham, it is true, narrates the story somewhat differently. He 
says that the Earl of Northumberland and Lord Bardolph, on their flight 
from England, were received by Sir David Fleming into Berwick, but 
afterwards escaped from Scotland on being warned by the latter that the 

1 Tytler's History of Scotland, vol. 
pp. 23, 24. 

2 Wyntoun's Cronykil, vol ii. pp. 410, 411. 

3 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 441. 


Scots were conspiring to hand them over to King Henry in exchange for 
certain prisoners, whom he does not name. On this account, he adds, Sir 
David Fleming was slain by the Scots, and the Scots themselves were 
provoked to civil war, so that by reason of the weakness caused by this 
discord they were compelled to seek annual truces from England. One such 
truce having been agreed to by land, the Scots sent the son and heir of 
their King by sea to France, etc. 1 

But Walsingham's statement may justly be dismissed on account of its 
inaccuracies. There is no evidence of any civil strife in Scotland following 
on the death of Sir David Fleming — nothing beyond the single battle in 
which he met his fate. No truces whatever were made with England on 
account of such contention. The death of Fleming did not occur until 
Prince James had set sail for France, as that knight had accompanied him 
to the ship at North Berwick. The truce under cover of which the Prince 
was despatched was one very near its term of expiry, and embraced both sea 
and land, as is evident from the treaty itself, 2 and the remonstrance made by 
the Scots immediately after the capture of the Prince against its infraction by 
sea. 3 As to the warning said to have been given to the two English Lords 
by Sir David Fleming, it is difficult to believe that the Earl of Northumber- 
land fled for his life from the Scottish Court, and yet left his grandson and 
heir there to be honourably maintained and educated for so many years. 

The death of Sir David Fleming is attributed by some modern historians 
to the malignant resentment of the Duke of Albany against Fleming, for 
his reputed assistance in the escape of Northumberland and the Prince, 
although, if that were true in the case of the latter, he unwittingly co-oper- 
ated in facilitating what one suggests was a concerted plot between Albany 

1 Walsingham, ed. 1574, p. 41". 2 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. viii. p. 363. 

3 Ibid. p. 450. 


and the English King for the capture of the Prince. Yet Fleming was 
allied to the Duke of Albany by the marriage of his son Sir Malcolm 
Fleming and Lady Elizabeth Stewart, Albany's daughter, and was moreover 
held in the highest repute by both King Eobert and the Duke, and 
employed by them in the most weighty concerns of the State. Proof is 
needed for the assertion that Albany caused Fleming to be put to death, 
but none is afforded. Both Wyntoun and Bower record the circumstances 
of Fleming's death, yet nowhere is the remotest hint given of Albany's con- 
nection with it; and the language of the latter historian plainly indicates 
its cause to have been a private quarrel betwixt Sir Alexander Seton, who 
afterwards became Lord of Gordon, and Sir David Fleming. After stating 
the fact of Sir David's convoying the Prince to the Bass, and that there 
was with him a strong party of the chiefs of the Lothians, he adds that 
in returning he was pursued by Sir James Douglas, second son of the Earl 
of Douglas, and overtaken at Langhirdmanstone Moor, where, after a severe 
battle, he was slain on the 14th of February 1406. Divers nobles and 
knights were taken, but they were afterwards released. Sir James Douglas 
was instigated to the deed by Sir Alexander Seton. 1 

The Duke of Albany is altogether misrepresented by those writers who 
present him to posterity as a man of unscrupulous ambition, who rejoiced 
in the miseries of others when they helped forward his own aims, and was 
deterred by no crime, if its perpetration could only secure their accomplish- 
ment. Had the character of Albany been that given him by popular writers 
of our own day, he could never have retained the confidence and good-will 
of the nobility, the churchmen, and the general community of Scotland, as 
lie did for a length of time far exceeding that of any other Governor who 
swayed the destinies of the country 

1 Fordun, a Goorlall, vol. ii. p. 439. 


Shortly after the death of Eobert the Third, in the month of June 1406, 
the Three Estates of the realm met in Parliament, at Perth, and declared 
Prince James to be their true and lawful Kino- notwithstanding that he 
was detained in England an unwilling captive. By an ordinance of this 
same Parliament, Albany was chosen Governor of the entire kingdom. In 
that same month he was asked by some Prussian merchants to inquire 
into a wanton attack by an English war-ship upon two trading vessels 
which were loading at the port of Blackness, in the Firth of Forth, so far 
back as the year 1402. After inquiry he issued an instrument drawn up in 
Latin, of which the following is a translation : — 

Eobert, Duke of Albany, Earl of Fife and of Menteitb, guardian and governor 
of the kingdom of Scotland, to all to whose knowledge these present letters shall 
come, greeting in the Lord. The laws claim, and reason persuades, that it is pious 
and meritorious to bear testimony to the truth, that the way of injury may be thereby 
shut up to evildoers, and the path of truth shine with due light. Hence it is that 
we, on the special request made to me by letter by prudent and discreet men, the 
councillors of the city of Dantzic, and others, merchants of the parts of Prussia, 
have caused true, faithful, and diligent information to be taken upon oath of 
trustworthy men, from which information it is manifestly known to us that on the 
feast of the nativity of St. John the Baptist, in the year of our Lord 1402, a certain 
English admiral, namely, Lord of le Grey of Godenoy (Codnor), with a ship, equipped 
with men of arms in great numbers for war, came within the Firth in the kingdom 
of Scotland as far as the harbour commonly called of Blackness, and there hostilely 
attacked two ships laden with fine wheat meal and other merchandise, of which the 
masters were Nicholas Rotermont and Bernard Johnson ; one of these the foresaid 
Englishmen took the same night, namely, the ship of Rotermont of Bremen, with the 
sailors and the merchandise then in it, and in the morning burned, near the foresaid 
harbour, the other ship belonging to the foresaid Bernard, the ship being first emptied 
by them of all goods and merchandise, and the sailors being either slain or drowned 
in the sea. The masters of the ships or their men never afforded any aid, assistance, 


or defence to the Scots against the English unless by lawfully pursuing their merchandise. 
And this we make known by the tenor of the present letters to all whom it concerns, 
or whom this present matter touches, or may touch in future. To which, for the 
sake of testimony, we have commanded the seal of our office to be appended, at the 
town of Perth, the 28th day of the month of June, the year of God 1406. ' 

Among the first acts of the Governor was the opening of negotiations 
with Henry the Fourth of England by the despatch of Bothesay, King- 
of-Arms, as commissioner for the King and kingdom of Scotland, to 
the English Court, to treat of the infractions of the truce upon the sea, 2 
and no doubt, as Crawford says, with special reference to Prince James's 
capture, to inquire under what pretence of justice or law he came to be 
taken in the time of a truce. 3 Whatever the result of his mission was, a 
large and influential embassy, consisting of the Lord Chancellor of Scotland, 
Gilbert, Bishop of Aberdeen, Eobert, Bishop of Dunkeld, Sir David Lindsay 
Earl of Crawford, Sir Alexander Stewart Earl of Mar, William Graham of 
Kincardine, and a hundred horsemen, was sent into England in the month 
of December of the same year, 4 which, as it surpassed in dignity the 
embassies usually sent on the subject of a truce, it is natural to suppose 
must have had some much more weighty trust. That could only be 
negotiations for the liberation of their King; and so it is stated in the 
account rendered by the executors of the late Sir David Lindsay, Earl of 
Crawford, chamberlain-depute, at Perth, on 16th March 1407 : — 

For the expenses of the commissioners sent into England on the common business 
of the realm, about the death of the King, and afterwards for the liberation of the son 
and heir of our late King, £120. r> 

1 Enclosure in a communication by English 3 Officers of State, p. 303. 

commissioners to Rupert, King of the Romans, 
in Cottonian Library, British Museum. 

- Rymer's Foedera, vol. viii. p. 450. 5 Chamberlain Rolls, vol. iii. p. 8. 

VOL. I. 2 B 

Rymer's Fcedera, vol. viii. p. 461. 


The only result attained, so far as known, by this embassage, was 
a prolongation of the truce for another year. But the fact of these 
negotiations taking place proves the falseness of the imputations made 
against Albany, who, while stigmatised as a usurper of the supreme power, 
is represented as glorying in the captivity of the Prince, and wickedly 
refusing to take any steps for his release. On the contrary, the Duke 
sought the restoration of Prince James, and availed himself of every 
opportunity that offered for that purpose. This is amply proved by facts. 

In the Chamberlain's account rendered at Perth on the 20th May 1409 
from the 27th March 1408, there occurs the following entry, which shows 
that between these two dates negotiations for the Prince's release had 
been going on : — 

By payment made to the Earl of Orkney for his labour in the business of his 
highness Prince James, son of our King, at present in England, £20.* 

Again, betwixt the 21st July 1410 and the 12th June 1412, another 
embassy had been in England on the same business. The names of the 
commissioners were John Stewart, Lord of Lorn, Master Eobert of Lany, 
Provost of St. Andrews, and Sir John of Busby, Canon of Moray, and they 
are mentioned as having been sent in embassage to the King of England to 
treat for the liberation of the King and Sir Murdach the Duke's son. For 
their expenses they received £130. 2 

These negotiations were frequently interrupted by the outbreak of 
hostilities, but when, in the early summer of 1412, the King of England 
agreed to a truce between the two countries, which was to extend to the 
close of the year 1418, 3 Albany at once resumed his efforts for the release of 
James. On the 1 6th April 1413, Henry received into his safe-conduct the 
following persons as commissioners from the Duke of Albany, viz., Walter, 
1 Chamberlain Rolls, vol. iii. p. 27. " Ibid. p. 48. 3 Eymer'a Fcedera, vol. viii. p. 737. 

ON BEHALF OF KING JAMES, 1409-1414. 195 

Bishop of Brechin, William, Lord of Graham, Alexander Ogilvy, Sheriff of 
Angus, Master Robert of Lany, Licentiate in Decreets, and John of Weniyss, 
with an escort of thirty persons. To these were added, by separate safe- 
conducts, William Douglas of Drumlanrig, John of Dunkeld, Gilbert Scott, 
and John Sinclair, with a following of twenty persons. Their business was 
to treat concerning the liberation of the King of Scotland (super deliberatione 
Begis Scotife). 1 This embassy is proved to have been in communication 
with the King of England, from the renewed grants of safe-conducts to Sir 
William Douglas, Lord of Drumlanrig, Alexander Descheles, and John of 
Welles, who are mentioned as having been lately in the King's presence, 
treating with him about the King of Scotland. 2 The following entry in the 
Chamberlain's account for the year beginning 12th June 1412, and ending 5th 
July 1413, probably in connection with this same embassy, is interesting:— 

And for the expenses of the Lord of Graham and Master Bobert of Lany, 
Brovost of St. Andrews, ambassadors of the realm passing into England for 
the deliverance of the King, by command of the Lord Governor, because that 
William of Borthwick, junior, had carried off by force more than one 
hundred nobles from those entrusted with the ordained expenses of the 
foresaid ambassadors, £50. 3 

Notwithstanding the unsuccessful efforts of these commissioners to effect 
the release of the King, the attempt was not given up. Again, in the account 
of the following year, between the 5th July 1413 and the 27th June 1414, 
there occur in the same record these two entries : — 

To a herald going thrice into England for safe-conducts of ambassadors sent into 
England to the King, £20. 

And to Master Eobert of Lany and Sir Eobert of Maxwell, sent into England for 
the deliverance of our Lord the King, j£120. 4 

1 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. ix. pp. 5, 6. 3 Chamberlain Bolls, vol. iii. p. 58. 

-' Ibid. p. 79. 4 Ibid. pp. 66, 67. 


The letter appointing these two commissioners to this embass} r , and 
the instructions given to them for their direction in the negotiations, have 
both been preserved. They are written in Latin, and the following is a 
translation : — 

Robert, Duke of Albany, Earl of Fife and of Menteith, and Governor of the 
kingdom of Scotland, to all to whose knowledge the present letters shall come, 
greeting in the Lord. Know your university that we, fully confiding in the fidelity, 
circumspection, and industry of our beloved and faithful Eobert of Maxwel of 
Caldorewod, knight, our cousin, and Master Robert of Lany, Provost of St. Andrews, 
Licentiate in Decreets, have made, constituted, and ordained, and by these presents do, 
alike of our certain knowledge and deliberate counsel, make, constitute, and ordain 
them, our and the said kingdom's ambassadors, commissioners, and special messengers, 
giving and granting to them full, free, and general power to appear in the presence 
of the most serene Prince, Henry, King of England, our adversary, and to treat, agree, 
and conclude with him, or his commissioners whomsoever having sufficient power from 
him, respecting the liberation of the illustrious Prince James, son of my late Lord the 
King, and concerning a general or particular truce, both by land and sea, to be taken 
and confirmed between us, the foresaid kingdom of Scotland, the lieges, subjects, and 
confederates of the same, on the one part, and our said adversary, his kingdom, his 
lieges, subjects, and confederates, on the other, such and to endure for so long a time as 
to our said commissioners shall seem expedient ; and to ask and receive in our name 
from the said King of England, his oath upon the confirmation and conservation of the 
present truce between the most excellent prince the Lord King of France and himself, 
their kingdoms and dominions, subjects and confederates, which was last taken and 
entered into by their said commissioners of both nations : Which truce, for ourselves 
and the said kingdom of Scotland, lieges and subjects of the same, we have accepted, 
and by the tenor of these presents do accept. Also to ask and receive from the said 
King of England, or his deputies or commissioners, reformation of all and sundry 
attempts against the form of truce taken and confirmed in times past between the 
kingdoms of Scotland and England ; and generally to do, transact, agree, and conclude 



upon all and every other thing which may be necessary or in any way helpful anent 
the premises, even if they require a more special mandate ; promising that we shall 
perpetually hold valid, satisfactory, stable, and sure, whatever our said commissioners 
shall think fit to do in the premises or in any one of them. Given under the testimony 
of our Great Seal at Falkland, the 22d day of the month of May, the year of our 
Lord one thousand four hundred and fourteen, and of our government the ninth year. 1 

The instructions are as follows : — 

These are the articles with which Sir Eobert Maxwell of Calderwood and 
Master Robert of Lany, Provost of St. Andrews, ambassadors and commissioners of an 
excellent prince, the Lord Duke of Albany, Governor of Scotland, are burdened to 
propose to the most excellent and potent prince Lord Henry, by the grace of God, 
most illustrious King of England [57th May, 2d year of Henry the Fifth, i.e. 1414]. 

First, To notify to the Lord King foresaid, that the said Governor, for himself 
and the kingdom of Scotland, has accejrted the truce lately made and entered into 
by the Commissioners of France and England as confirmed by the Kings, which also 
for himself and the kingdom of Scotland he is prepared to confirm. 

Likewise, to provide, treat, and agree with the foresaid Lord King for the freedom 
and deliverance of the most serene Prince the Lord King of Scotland, who was taken 
and arrested on the sea while a youth in time of truce, and has now been detained for 
many years. 

Also, to treat and agree about the redemption of a noble man, Sir Murdach, son of 
the Governor above mentioned. 

Also, to treat and provide respecting a further and longer truce or cessation of 
warfare for the welfare of both kingdoms, with the Lord's assistance. 

Also, to make provision for a remedy for attempts made in times of truce, and 
how hereafter the truce may and ought to be inviolably observed, and transgressors of 
both kingdoms punished. 

Also, to require the said Lord King that he vouchsafe that the said truce be ratified, 
if he so please, by oath, as the Governor is prepared to swear when he shall be required 
hereanent. 2 

1 Original in Cottoniaa library, British Museum. - Ibid. 


Another journey was undertaken by these two ambassadors in the 
following year for this same purpose, £50 being again allowed for their 
expenses ; and, in addition to them, others seem to have been from time to 
time engaged in the business. Sir William of Coekburn, one of the custumars 
of Haddington, was, in 1414, due on his account £67, 10s. 3d., which the 
Governor, of his favour and by counsel of the auditors, remitted on account 
of his great labours in England on behalf of King James, and for the defence 
of the kingdom in the time of war. 1 

In fact, no efforts were spared to procure the release of James from the 
captivity in which he had so unjustly been detained. All the embassies sent 
by the Duke of Albany to the English Court are not likely to have been 
recorded, and besides those mentioned, others are chronicled, without state- 
ment of their object being made in the documents which relate the facts. But 
enough have been quoted to show both the sincerity and the activity of the 
now aged Governor in seeking the restoration of his nephew. These efforts 
were still unsuccessful, but the want of success is not chargeable to Albany. 
He had striven for a longer period to procure the return of his own son, in 
which surely his sincerity will not be questioned, and until now he had been 
as unsuccessful as in the case of James. Murdach was an important State 
prisoner, even more so than his fellow-prisoner the Earl of Douglas, whose 
release had been accomplished sooner; but the King of Scotland was far 
more important than either or both, in the eyes of the English King — too 
precious in his present position to be readily restored. 

Yet King Henry the Fifth was at last prevailed upon to come to terms. 

Hostilities had broken out in spite of the six years' truce which had been 

made, and on their subsidence the English King relented somewhat, and 

liberated several of the imprisoned Scottish nobility, of whom he had yet a 

1 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iv. pp. 198, 223. 


considerable number. At that time another embassy, consisting of John of 
Hailes, Abbot of Balmerino, Sir John Forrester of Corstorphine, and Walter 
Ogilvy, with a retinue of forty horsemen, was sent to England with 
instructions either to procure the release of King James, or if Henry would 
not consent to that, at least to obtain leave for him to visit Scotland on 
parole. The safe-conduct for this embassy was granted on 26th April 141 6. 1 
Henry so far met the wishes of Albany, as expressed by his commissioners, 
that he appointed Thomas, Bishop of Durham, Henry, Earl of Northum- 
berland, and Balph, Earl of Westmoreland, to receive hostages and obligations 
to the extent of 100,000 marks for the return of James. 2 The commission 
to these nobles was granted on the 8th December of the same year, and on 
the same clay safe-conducts were also made out for the chief of the Scottish 
nobility, along with the Bishops of Aberdeen and Glasgow, to come to King 
James in England. 3 But these negotiations also came to no practical result, 
as the arrangement was never carried out. 

No doubt in thus seeking the release of James on parole, the commis- 
sioners would refer as a precedent to the former case of King David the 
Second having been allowed to visit his kingdom on like terms. But the 
mention of such an event was not likely to facilitate the wished-for 
liberation, as the English would remember that the ransom of David had 
never been fully paid, and they had not much reason to expect that in the 
unimproved condition of Scottish finance they would have more success in 
the case of James. To the Scots, the prospects of having another such 
ransom to provide would be anything but pleasant, and it would seem that 
so long as Albany was spared to manage the affairs of the realm, they were 
not extremely desirous of incurring such another load of debt. The King 
was still young, and they probably hoped that something would turn up by 
1 Rymer's Foedera, vol. ix. p. 341. - Ibid. p. 417. 3 Ibid. p. 419. 


which they might ohtain his restoration on easier terms, which, indeed, in a 
manner quite unexpected, was eventually the case. 

The arrangement of 1416 is said by some historians to have originated not 
with Albany, who is at the same time accused for permitting the young King 
to remain so long in exile, but with those of the nobility who had returned 
from England, and were successful in spite of the alleged disloyal inactivity 
of the Duke. 1 A glance at the real facts is fatal to all such conjectures. 

For the sake of connection we have considered this question fully here, at 
the expense of the clue order of the occurrences in the life of the Duke of 
Albany — to these we now return. 

An early act of the Governor's was the renewal of the treaty between 
Scotland and France, to effect which he sent envoys to the Court of Charles 
the Sixth, where it was readily ratified in the month of February 1407. 2 

On the death in 1394, without lawful issue, of his brother, Alexander, Earl of 
Buchan, popularly known as " the Wolf of Badenoch," the earldom of Buchan 
was inherited by Albany as his brother's heir ; and he, by a charter dated 20th 
September 1406, granted the earldom to John Stewart, his eldest son by Lady 
Muriella Keith. 3 John thereupon became Lord of Buchan, and was created 
Earl by his father about 1408. To this son Albany committed his office of 
Lord Chamberlain of Scotland, by a charter dated 12th March 1407, which 
allowed him a fee of 300 marks and one deputy, 4 although it would seem that 
the Duke himself received yearly up to 1414 the annual fee for that office ; if 
so, it was probably by arrangement with his son the Earl of Buchan. 5 

The King of England seems to have objected to the Duke of Albany 
being called Governor of Scotland, and to have protested against the title 

1 Tytler, vol. iii. p. 40. 3 Sutherland Peerage Case, p. 28. 

- Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 4 Eegistrum Magni Sigilli, p. 227. 

vol. xii. p. 21. 5 Chamberlain Rolls, vol. iii. pp. 26, 39, 59, 67. 



to the messengers of the Duke when at the English Court, and hence arose the 
epithet of " Pretended Governor of Scotland," which is found in one or two of 
the documents relating to negotiations between Scotland and England in the 
year 1407. Whether Henry the Fourth was moved to this by a feeling of 
resentment at that epithet having been applied to his own claim to be King 
of England on his accession to the English throne when King Richard the 
Second was deposed, 1 or from a fear that the claim of James to the Scottish 
Throne was not duly respected, does not appear. The protest was altogether 
uncalled for, and was not followed up by King Henry. 

During this year a considerable amount of negotiation took place between 
the two kingdoms. A truce had been agreed upon in the previous year to 
continue till Easter of 1407 (March 27th), and application seems to have been 
made by the Duke of Albany for its prolongation. The King of England 
referred the matter for consideration to some of the English bishops, and they 
returned answer to the King in a letter dated 2d March. Of that letter, 
which is in French, the following is a translation : — 

Most dread and our Sovereign Lord, — I commend me to your high royal 
Majesty, whom may it please to know, that by commandment of your gracious letters 
addressed to your humble bedesmen, the Bishop of London, the Bishop of Durham, and 
me, your most humble servant, we have met together to consult about the business 
touching the commission and instructions to be drawn up and given to your special 
commissioners to treat respecting the prorogation of the truce ; and we have seen the 
letters of the very reverend father in God, the Archbishop of Canterbury, your 
Chancellor, in which he has given answer to your very honourable letters lately sent 
to him, so we, having regard to certain special points in your said letters, according 
as it seems to us and your said Chancellor, have signified and declared, and in terms 

1 In a communication by King Charles the refers to the King of England as " the Duke 

Sixth of France to King Robert the Third of of Lancaster, calling himself King of Eng- 

Scotland, about the year 1400, the former land." — [Report on Foedera, App. D. p. 69.] 
VOL. I. 2 C 


of his said reply, have charged, on the part of your Highness, Syinon Gaunstede, one 

of the directors of your Chancery, to prepare two kinds of commissions, the one of 

which gives power to your commissioners to treat and agree about the renewal of 

the truce with the commissioners of the Duke of Albany, Governor of the kingdom of 

Scotland, as on behalf of Scotland ; and the other gives power to your commissioners 

to treat and agree upon the said renewal with the commissioners of Scotland, having 

sufficient and like power on their part as your commissioners have on theirs. 

And because we doubt that by some of your commissions the said Duke may take 

advantage of the name and right of Governor of the kingdom of Scotland, in defiance 

of the protestation recently made on your part in presence of the messengers of the 

said Duke, it seems in our humble opinion to be expedient to await the coming of your 

said Chancellor to London, which will be on Monday or Tuesday next at latest, as is 

said, without proceeding further in this matter ; and that the letters under your Privy 

Seal addressed to the said Duke and to our most honoured Lord John, your son, and to 

your most honoured brother, the Earl of Westmoreland, do not pass in the meantime, 

but yet that letters under your signet should be sent to your said son and brother, to 

cause prorogue the truce between the Marchers : also as we think well that this be 

done by virtue of your commandment given to your foresaid sou at his departure from 

your high presence, seeing that since the wardens of the Marches on both sides can 

arrange particular truces for a month, more or less, in the way they have formerly 

done ... no danger can happen for the time. Which our simple advice, saving 

always your high discretion, the said Bishops have charged me in their absence to 

make known to your Highness. May the Blessed Trinity always keep you in most 

happy life, prosperity, and health of body, for the safety of your people. Written at 

Loudon, Wednesday, in haste. 1 „ , , , , , . 

Your humble servant and bedesman, 


To the King, our most dread and Sovereign Lord. 2 

In the meantime Henry wrote to Albany, saying that his Council were 
then absent, but that the truce might be prolonged if arrangements could 

1 2d March, 8th year of King Henry the 2 Original in Cottonian Library, British 

Fourth, added in a later hand. Museum. 



be made. On receiving this information, the Duke of Albany assembled 
his Council, and in reply sent the letter, in Latin, of which the following 
is a translation : — 

Most Serene Prince, — For the kind reception of our letters, and the gracious 
audience vouchsafed by your Highness to our ambassadors, the bearers of these letters, 
namely, our beloved councillors, Sir William Graham of Kincardine, and Sir John 
Stewart of Lorn, knights, we return your Highness our most hearty thanks. 

We have received with grateful affection from our ambassadors, on their return to 
us from your presence, the letter of your Highness, which, among other things, 
intimates that on account of the absence of your Council, and for other causes expressed 
in your said letters, you were unable to give the answer desired by them in your 
presence on our behalf, unless they should wish ... to direct ; especially as the 
matters proposed by them were arduous, and concerned the state, welfare, and honour 
of the kingdoms of Scotland and England. Which being duly considered, it seems 
expedient to you (if it should also be our pleasure), as your said letters contain, that in 
the fear of Almighty God, for the tranquillity of the kingdoms . . . and for avoiding the 
effusion of Christian blood between the kingdoms, the truce now existing between the 
foresaid kingdoms, which endures to the Feast of Pasch next to come, 1 to another term 
more . . . might be amicably renewed, that meanwhile the treaty upon the foregoing 
and other matters mutually affecting us may be more effectually kept and . . . More- 
over, as to (our) will (respecting) the renewal of the truce . . . fifteenth day of the 
Purification of St. Mary 2 bypast, you now desire to be fully informed by our letters. 

Concerning which, most serene Prince, on account of the (shortness) of the time 
. . . and the entry of the said commissioners to our presence, and also on account of 
the absence of the Lords from our Council and kingdom, we could not conveniently 
. . . Whereupon, your said letter having been more fully understood, we caused the 
Council of the kingdom to be assembled in our presence for deliberation on their 
contents ... to endure to the Feast of Pasch, 8 the year following the expiry of the 
said truce, in the same manner, form, and effect as the said last truce w as made and 

Easter. 27th March 1407 

16th Februar 

3 15th April 140S. 


confirmed at Kelso . . . special commissioners of both parties, with all possible speed, 
before' the expiry of the said truce, for the avoiding of those mishaps which might arise 
from the delay of this renewal beyond the forementioned period, notwithstanding the 
great and insufferable losses, grievances, and injuries repeatedly inflicted and perpetrated 
by your subjects, both by sea and land, upon the inhabitants of Scotland (in violation 
of the forementioned truce). 

Concerning which we cannot obtain any reformation or redress from you or your 
subjects, although . . . you and they have been many times required with effect, both 
in the Marches of the kingdoms in your province and elsewhere. 

Besides, most serene Prince, it seems expedient to us and our Council, and highly 
necessary for the welfare and quiet of both kingdoms, that some certain day of truce 
in the Marches of the said kingdoms should be appointed, where certain ambassadors 
and commissioners of noble estate, with a sufficient commission on behalf of either 
kingdom, might meet to treat and agree upon a perpetual peace to be maintained 
by the grace of God, or at least for a long truce, with reparation and due redress 
of all and sundry losses, grievance, and injuries, and all other attempts on both 
sides against the present and past truces, howsoever and by whomsoever perpetrated 
or to be perpetrated ; and, if it please you, it is agreeable to us and to our Council 
of the kingdom of Scotland, that such a day be appointed in the week following 
the Feast of St. Peter, which is called " Lammasday," 1 next to come, in the Marches 
at Hawdenstank : And you will be pleased to inform us what you shall deem 
meet to do in this behalf by your letters as speedily as possible by the bearer of these 
our letters. 

May the Most High preserve your Highness in a lengthened peace, for the peace 
and quiet of all his people. 

Written at the town of Perth, the second day of the month of March (1407). 
Robert, son of the King of Scotland, Duke of Albany, 
Earl of Fife and of Menteith, and Governor of the kingdom of Scotland. 

To the Most Serene Prince Henry, by the grace of God, King of England. 2 

1 1st August. Museum. A paper document, much muti- 

2 Original in Cottonian Library, British iated. 



To which the King of England responded in the following letter in Latin, 
of which a translation is here given : — 

Henry, by the grace of God, etc., to the Duke of Albany, etc., greeting, and increase 
of sincere love. Eeplying in a friendly manner to our letters which we lately sent 
your Excellency, among other things you wrote that after consideration of the causes 
expressed in your said letters, it was agreeable to you and the Council of the kingdom 
of Scotland assembled thereanent, that the present truce, which lasts till the feast of 
Easter, should be continued or renewed, to endure until the feast of Easter in the 
following year, in the same manner, form, and effect as the last truce made and 
confirmed at Kelso ; and that the said renewal . . . special Commissioners on both 
sides with all possible speed before the expiry of the said truce, for avoiding of any 
damages which might arise from the delay of such renewal beyond the forementioned 

Moreover, it seems expedient to you and your Council, and highly necessary to the 
welfare and peace of both kingdoms, as you have written, that a certain day should be 
appointed on the Marches of the said kingdoms where certain ambassadors and 
commissioners of noble rank, with sufficient commissions on the part of either 
kingdom to treat and agree upon a perpetual peace, to be obtained by the grace of 
God, or at least a long truce, together with reparation and a due reformation of all and 
sundry losses, grievances, and injuries and other attempts on both sides against the 
present and former truces. And, provided that it were agreeable to us, you and the 
Council of the said kingdom of Scotland it seems are content that such day should be 
appointed the week next after the feast of St. Peter, which is called Lammas Day, 
next following, on the Marches at Haudenstank, of which you desire to be speedily 
informed by our letters. 

Wherefore, your Excellence will be pleased to know that when we received your 
said letters on the 18th day of this month of March, and not before, the Lords of 
our Council, and especially our Chancellor of England, being absent at the present time, 
and not to return until the fifteenth day of Easter l next to come, we were unable, in 

1 10th April 1407. 


consequence of the shortness of the time, to send our commissioners against the said 
feast of Easter 1 for the foresaid renovation. But it being our sincere desire, as it is 
also yours, that on account of the fear of God, to avoid the shedding of Christian blood, 
that the blessings of peace and tranquillity may be preserved between the kingdoms, we 
shall ordain, as we are able in good manner, all pretence beiug laid aside, that certain 
commissioners of ours, namely, Ralph Euer, Robert Umfrevil, and John Miteford, 
knights, shall proceed to the parts of the Marches foresaid, furnished with sufficient 
power, namely, to treat and agree upon a truce to continue for a year in the same 
manner and form (as we thought good more fully to unfold our mind to our and your 
kinsman, the Earl of Douglas, before his departure from our country, as that Earl, 
when he arrives, can relate to your Highness in our name by word of mouth), and 
to treat and agree with the deputies of the said kingdom of Scotland upon a certain 
day and place, at which the ambassadors and commissioners of noble rank on both 
sides shall be bound to meet for establishing a final peace, or otherwise a long truce, 
together with reparations and reformations of attempts on both sides, so that, on our 
part, God willing, no failure shall be found, but that such a conclusion shall be arrived 
at in the premises, which parties on both sides . . . Because in following the doctrine 
of the apostle "to follow peace with all men," we are stirred up to show our love to 
the Author of Peace. Moreover, desiring also that although ... in a suitable time, 
namely, before the expiry of the former truce at the feast of Pasch now instant, they 
were not able to meet on account of the shortness of the time of this truce, nevertheless 
on both parts are preserved ... we write at present to our dearest son John, our 
Constable of England, and to our dearest brother the Earl of Westmoreland, keepers of 
the Marches on our part . . . that they may cause such truce, even after the expiry 
of the same, to be faithfully kept by our lieges, fully trusting that you will cause the 
like to be done on your part. 

Given, etc., xxii. [day of March]. 

Indorsed : Copy of a letter directed to the Duke of Albany. 2 

i 27th March. Cottonian Library, British Museum, much 

2 Contemporaneous Draft on vellum in the mutilated. 



Arrangements were accordingly made for the meeting proposed to be 
held on Lammas Day, at least on the English side, as Henry, by a mandate 
issued on 8th July 1407, 1 empowered his son John, Constable of England, 
and Warden of the East Marches, to negotiate a truce which should continue 
till next Easter. 2 This either had not satisfied the Scots, or the Border 
depredations by the English had become too much for the patience of Albany, 
as we find him meditating an invasion of England at the head of a large 
army. On the 8th of September 1407, Henry wrote to the Sheriffs of some 
of the northern counties of England to be prepared to meet him with all the 
strength of their respective shires, and accompany him wherever it might be 
necessary, and tells them that he had most certain information from sure 
and trustworthy sources that " Eobert, Duke of Albany, pretended Governor 
of Scotland, our common adversary and enemy, was proposing to invade the 
kingdom of England with no mean multitude and power of the Scots and 
other enemies, against the form of the present truce entered into between 
us and the kingdom of Scotland." 3 But it does not appear that pacific 
relations were really interrupted between the two nations, as shortly after- 
wards letters were again passing betwixt the Governor and the King. The 
following is a translation of one, written in Latin, from Albany to Henry, 
about two months after this attack was expected. It is dated the 4th of 
November : — 

Most Excellent Peince, — We received gladly some time ago the letter of your 
Highness, along with your safe-conduct granted to certain persons of our Council, 
presented to us by Leicester (King) -of- Arms, and have fully understood all that is 
contained in them according to their order. 

1 This and some other documents relating 
to the same period are misdated in the 
Foedera. The year 1405 should be 1407. 

'- Rymer's Fcedera, vol. viii. p. 403. 
3 Ibid. p. 414. 


Concerning which, as they touch closely the (welfare) of both kingdoms, we send 
to your presence, without delay, certain of the persons named in the said safe-conduct 
who are more fully acquainted with our intention, and who, on their arrival, will more 
intimately inform you concerning the same than we can presently do by writing of 
letters. . . . Most excellent Prince, on the return lately of our dearest nephew, the 
Earl of Mar, to our presence, we learned the numerous courtesies and favours which as 
often as possible you conferred on him and his in displaying their martial accomplish- 
ments on this occasion in your noble presence, for which with all our heart we thank 
you . . . the treatment heretofore in manifold ways bestowed upon our son, 
Murdach Stewart, and our cousin the Earl of Douglas, (we desire) your Majesty to 
continue towards them in the future. 

Moreover, if there is anything in these parts which we can do for your pleasure 
certify (us thereof), and we shall accomplish the same to your satisfaction, saving 
always our state. 

May the Most High long preserve your Excellency, and grant you felicity and peace. 

Written at the town of Perth, the 4th day of the month of November (1407). 
Robert, Duke of Albany, Earl of Fife and of Menteith, 
and Governor of the Kingdom of Scotland. 

To the Most Excellent Prince and Lord, Henry, by the Grace of God, King of 
England. 1 

The continuation of the truces between England and Scotland was never 
very certain, and when they were observed by the Borderers, it was often with 
a bad grace. In 1409, on the expiry of a year's truce, the Castle of Jedburgh 
was taken from the English, and was ordered to be levelled with the ground. 
The task was no easy one, as the mortar with which it was built had become 
as hard as the stone itself. At a meeting of Parliament at Perth, it was 
proposed that the expense should be met by levying a tax of twopence on 
every home in the country ; but this Albany strongly opposed, saying that 

1 Original in Cottonian Library, British Museum. 



taxes bad never been imposed during the period of bis governorship, neither 
should he levy them now, as the poor would curse him who introduced such 
an abuse, and be instructed the expenses of the demolishing of the castle 
to be paid out of the royal customs. This procedure added greatly to his 
popularity. 1 Yet it is noteworthy that in this very year the Treasury was 
due a large sum of money to the Duke for arrears of the salary of bis office 
as Governor. The Lord Chamberlain, in bis account rendered at Perth on 
the 20th May 1409, reported a balance of £1492, 19s. 9d., which sum, he 
added, had been paid to his father the Governor, as part of his fee for the 
office of Governor of the kingdom for previous years, and also for the year 
of this account. And thus, he says, he has received for the fee of his office 
during the past three years, since the death of the King his brother, only 
£2466, 8s. 5d., leaving as the complement of the £3000 not paid to him for 
the three years last past, namely, 1406, 1407, and 1408, or the year of this 
account, the sum of £533, lis. 7d. In addition to this, Albany himself 
protested that although he had incurred heavy expenses, and laboured much 
before the death of the King in his office as the Lieutenant of the King, he 
had not been paid the fee appointed to him by the King and Parliament ; and 
he accordingly asked that payment should be made to him early when time 
and opportunity afforded, and the royal revenues were more abundant. 2 In 
the previous year, 1408, the Duke granted £20, being the relief of the lands 
of Garthgunnok in Stirlingshire, pertaining to John Normaville, towards the 
making of the bridge of Stirling, for the soul of our late lord King. 3 

1 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 444. Two 
entries in the Exchequer Accounts concerning 
this business are interesting. For guarding 
the masons employed in the demolition of the 
castle, James Douglas, brother of the Earl, re- 
ceived £20, and Robert of Hawick, employed 
VOL. I. 

about the same work and the building of the 
King's kitchen in the Castle of Edinburgh, 
received a similar sum. — [Exchequer Rolls, 
vol. iv. pp. 115, 117.] 

2 Chamberlain Rolls, vol. iii. pp. 28, 29. 

3 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iv. p. 68. 

2 D 


The Earl of Douglas had returned to Scotland in the year 1408, having 
with great difficulty obtained leave only to visit his native land. It required 
years of prolonged negotiations, and it was not until twelve Scottish noblemen 
had consented to become hostages for him during his absence, that the King 
of England permitted him to return. 1 In the same year, George Dunbar, 
Earl of March, was restored to his earldom by the good offices of Walter 
Haliburton, Lord of Dirleton, who effected his reconciliation with the 
Governor. The consent of the Earl of Douglas was obtained by his receiving 
the Castle of Lochmaben and lordship of Annandale in recompense for the 
Castle of Dunbar, which he had occupied on March's flight into England. 2 
Haliburton, by whom this reconciliation was brought about, had become the 
son-in-law of the Duke of Albany, by marrying his daughter, Isabella, Dowager 
Countess of Boss. 3 For his services on that occasion Haliburton received 
hereditary possession of a forty pound land in the town of Brigham, in the 
county of Berwick. 4 

Shortly afterwards, in June 1409, the Duke of Albany and Archibald, 
Earl of Douglas, while the latter was still only on his parole from imprison- 
ment in England, entered into a bond for mutual assistance and support, 
in which both agreed to defend each other against all their opponents, 
their allegiance to their sovereign, King James, alone excepted. The one 
was to inform the other of anything prejudicial to him which might come 
to his knowledge ; in the event of their disagreeing, provision was made 
for an amicable settlement by means of the arbitration of a council of 

1 Rotuli Scotise, pp. 182-186. Original daughter of Archibald, third Earl of Douglas, 
Indenture in Douglas Charter-chest. and widow of David, Duke of Rothesay. She 

2 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 444. survived till about theyear 1420. — [Exchequer 

3 Ibid. Another Walter Haliburton married, Rolls, vol. iii. p. 594; iv. p. 343.] 
about the year 1403, Lady Mary Douglas, 4 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 444. 


seven persons chosen by both; if a question of fee and heritage arose, 
and the award of the council proved out of harmony with the opinions of 
the parties, the cause was to be settled by reference to the law (" in lufely 
manere as the lach will") ; in case of discord or slaughter among their 
followers, and failure of their lords to bring about an arrangement, they 
promised to fall from them and refer the matter to the law of the laud ; they 
further agreed, that if any of their sons or grandsons, or of their brothers, 
should cause riot or disturbance in the country, or should rebel against or 
disobey either the Duke or the Earl against reason, the one should assist the 
other, either personally, or by one of his two eldest sons, with all their power, 
to suppress such rebellion. It was further agreed that if it happened the said 
Lord the Duke to grow in time to come to the estate of king, that this bond, 
as touching equal fellowship and estate, should then expire, but that all 
kindness should be kept betwixt them in time to come ; and a clause in the 
indenture gave two of the grandsons of the Duke of Albany, Eobert Stewart 
of Fife and Walter Stewart of the Lennox, and two sons of the Earl of Douglas, 
Archibald and James, both of whom were at this time in Durham as hostages 
for then- father, the option of being included in the bond with their fathers. 1 

The relations between Albany and Douglas, ever warm and close, were 
drawn yet closer by a matrimonial alliance, John Stewart, Earl of Buchan, 
the second son of the Duke, marrying Lady Elizabeth Douglas, daughter of 
the Earl. An indenture between Albany and Douglas, with this as its object, 
was made at Perth on 21st July 1410. 2 

The release of the Earl of Douglas on parole was only to extend till Easter 

1409, but the month of January following had arrived, and yet he showed no 

disposition to re-enter into the ward of the King of England. This gave 

occasion to a remonstrance by the latter, which was sent to Albany by 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 277. " Ibid. p. 2S1. 


the hands of Edmund Bugge, one of the King's squires. His instructions 
were as follows : — 

Instruction geven to Emond Bugge, squier of the chambre of our soverain lord 
the Kynge, sent by the same our lord the Kynge toward the Due of Albanie, for to 
shewe hym the matires that folweth. 

First, al thow that Archibaud Erl of Douglas, as it is notoirly knowen, and he 
hym self, as trewe knyght, may noght withseye it, be prisoner to our forsaid lord the 
Kynge, and for some ehargeant nedes touchyng his estat, by hym shewed to the 
forseid our lord the Kynge, at his greet instance and pursuyte, yn conservacioun of 
hys estat, were licenced to goo in to Scotland vpon certain seuretee, yeven to the 
Kynge owr forseid soverain lord, as wel by lettres of the same Erl sealed of hys amies, 
as by oth and in other manere, for to have be retourned and entred agayn at feste of 
Pasque last passed yn to the Castel of Durem, yn and to the warde of Sir Johan of 
Lancastre, sone to our forsaid lord the Kynge, other elles to the same our lord the 
Kynge yn what place he were at that tyme withoute fraude or mal engin. Nerethe- 
les, the forsaid Erl hath noght maked nor perfourmed that entree atte forseide feste, 
nother after hider to, althow that to do it he hath be duely requered. 

And for so myche our forseid soverain lord the Kynge, willyngge and dessiryngge 
the honeur of the ordre of knigghthood be kept in alle sides, requereth the forsaid 
Due, yn conservacioun of the honeur of the foreseid ordre of knyghthood, that he 
lette noght ne yeve no lettyngge to the forseid Erl of Douglas, prisoner to our 
forseid soverein lord the Kynge, to come, entre and tourne agayn to hym as his 
trewe prisoner, as he is holden, bote that the same Due consaille and excite the 
forseid Erl to doo it effectuelly, as a trewe prisoner aghte doo, withoute fraude or mal 

Also, seththe the forseide Due hath writen to the forseid our soverein lord the 
Kynge, desiryngge and prayngge the deliverance of Mordake of Fyfe, sone and heir to 
the same Due, it liketh wel to our forseide lord the Kynge, atte instance and priere 
of the forsaid Due, that the forsaide Mordake, his sone and heir, be delivred by 
raunceon of fifty thousand marke, to be payed in cas that oure forsaid lord the Kynge 
take eny moneye for hym. 


And yn cas that the forsaid Duo wil noght assente to the paiement of swich a 
somme in manere forsaid, thenne it may discretly be asked of hym, yf he wil fynde 
any weyes thorgh whiche our forsaide lord the Kynge may be moeved and induced 
to condescende to the deliverance of the forseid Mordake his prisoner. And yn this 
caas, it wole lyke wel oure forseid lord the Kynge here hem and condescende to alle 
weyes resonable in fulfillyngge of the desir of the same Due in that partie, so that it 
be to the comun good of bothe royaumes of Engelond and Scotland. 

And if it happe that the forseyde Due wil desire, for the commoditee and comim 
profit, and for the good and tranquillitee of the forsaid royaumes of England and 
Scotland, and ofe the subgettes of the same, that ferme pees, other longe and good 
trieues, as wel by see as by lande may be accorded and stablisshed, thenne we may 
there opon certifie the Kynge our soverein lord forsaid. 

And if peraventure the same Due wil holde hym coy and no thynge touche of 
such weyes of pees other long trieues, thenne may the forsaid Emond Bugge of his 
propre mocion discretly touche of swiche weyes of pees or longe trieues as is above seyd, 
and yf by that mocion and touchyngge the forseid Emond may fele the forseide Due be 
ther of right desirous and assentynge to eny of swiche weyes, thenne it may be seide 
to the forsaid Due, that if swich pees or trieues be taken, they may be so good and so 
expedient for bothe roiaumes and the comun profit of the same, that our forsaid lord 
the Kynge shal mowe by that the bettre be enclyned to the deliverance of the forsaid 
Mordake for litel or right noght takynge for his raunceon, so that the same Due make 
the forsaid Erl entre agayn as prisoner as he is holden. 

Also ther as the herault of the same Due cleped Albany hath moeved amonges 
othir thyngges to our forsaid lord the Kynge of contract of matrimonie to be maked 
betwixt my Lord John, sone to our forseyed lord the Kynge, and a doughter of the 
forsaid Due ; If that be proceded of the mocion and desir of the same Due or noo, it 
is unknowen to our soverein lord the Kynge forsaid. 

And therfore our same lord soverein the Kynge wyl that the forseyd Emond 
enfourme the forseyde Due ofe and opon the same matire moeved by his forsaid 
heraud. And in caas that the mocion of that same matire have proceded ofe the 
wettyngge and desir of the forsaid Due, thenne wil the same Due certifie his 


wille to our forsaid lord the Kynge by his lettres by the forseyd Emond. Whereopou 
the same our soverein lord the Kynge, deliberation had, wol yeve ther opon so 
effectuel answere to the forseid Due, that therofe, by the grace of God, he shal be 
content of resoun. 

In witnesse of which thynge oure forsaide soverain lord the Kynge hath do set to 
this present instructioun his prive seal and his signet also. Writen at Westmonster, 
the xxv day of Januer, the yeer of the regne of the same our lord the Kynge 
enleventhe. 1 

The Earl of Douglas did not return to Ms captivity in England, as lie 
succeeded in raising the money required for his ransom, and in this way 
fulfilled the requirements of knighthood. 2 The son of the Duke, Sir Murdach 
Stewart, had to remain in captivity, as the 50,000 marks demanded for 
his ransom could not be procured, and no other honourable mode of 
release presented itself to the Duke, as he was evidently not inclined to 
place the nation at any disadvantage in its relations with England for his 
own gratification. 

The instructions of this commissioner bring to light a somewhat surprising 
motion for the union of the royal houses of Stewart and Lancaster, in the 
persons of John, son of the King of England, and a daughter of the Duke of 
Albany. Whether it had been part of the Duke's instructions to his herald 
does not appear. The King of England expresses his doubts as to that, and 
desires to be better informed by letters from the Duke himself on the subject. 
But here the matter ends, as no other document is known which relates the 
result of the mission of Edmund Bugge in this particular. 

He was, at all events, successful in procuring that there should be a 
prolongation of the peace between the two countries, and after his return a 

1 Original in Cottonian Library, British Museum. 

2 Rymer's Foedera, vol. ix. p. 7. 


truce, to continue till 21st May 1411, was arranged at Hawdenstank on the 
21st April, between the commissioners appointed by the King of England 
and Governor of Scotland. Albany was satisfied with the truce proposed by 
his commissioners, and on the 6th May wrote from Falkland Castle to King- 
Henry the Fourth, intimating his entire acquiescence with the arrangement, 
which was that, on the last day of the month of May, letters of certification 
should be made and despatched by King Henry at Kelso, and the Duke at 
Berwick, and declaring that if the truce was accepted, it would be firmly 
maintained and observed by him and the people of Scotland, in all form 
and effect, as the truce of the previous year. 1 

Instead of accepting the truce on the last day of the month of May, as 
arranged, King Henry on that day appointed commissioners to meet with 
others to be appointed by the Scots on the 17th of June, to procure a truce 
lasting only till the feast of All Saints (1st November). This appears to 
have been resented by the Scots, as tidings reached the English Court in the 
beginning of July, that an invasion of England was intended by a consider- 
able body of the Scots within a short time ; and Henry issued letters on 
the 5th to a large number of knights and others to resist any such attack. 2 
About this time Fast Castle, an almost impregnable fortress on the rocky 
coast of Berwickshire, was taken from the English by the skill and bravery 
of Patrick Dunbar, a son of the Earl of March, 3 — a happy result of the 
reconciliation of Albany with March and his family, who had hitherto held 
out the Scottish castles for the English against their own countrymen. It 
was but a few years previously that George Dunbar, another son of the Earl, 
had maintained the fortress of Colbrandspath for King Henry against the 
Governor. 4 

1 Eymer's Foedera, vol. viii. p. 635. 3 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 444. 

2 Ibid. p. 640. 4 Eymer's Foedera, vol. viii. p. 410. 


Before the close of the year matters had again become smoother, and 
overtures were made for the making of another truce. The same commis- 
sioner, Edmund Bugge, was sent to the Governor, who wrote to Henry 
on the 2d of October, proposing a meeting between commissioners of 
the two nations; and in reply received a letter, of which the following is a 
translation : — 

Henry, etc., to the noble and mighty Prince, the Duke of Albany, our most 
dear cousin, greeting and love. Noble Prince, our most dear cousin.- -Returning lately 
to our presence, our well-beloved esquire, Edmund Bugge, presented to us on your 
behalf your letters written at Edinburgh, the second day of October last past, 
containing, among other things, that for the common profit of the two realms, and for 
the avoiding of the irreparable damages which by the waging of war would be likely 
to ensue (which God avert), it is your intention and will that commissioners of high 
and noble estate on each side, provided with sufficient powers for the causes expressed 
in our letters, presented to you by our said esquire, should meet at Haddenstank on 
Monday, the tenth day of February next coming, always reserving our willingness to 
consent ; whereof, and of our pleasure as to other matters, you desire to be certified 
by our letters, at the Abbey of Kelso, on the Feast of St. Andrew next coming. 

Whereupon, noble Prince, our most dear cousin, be pleased to know that it is 
our intention, and that herein we are well inclined to cause to be sent at the day and 
place above expressed, our commissioners of such rank as your said letters make 
mention. But by reason of other most important concerns, to which it is highly 
necessary to have, in haste, the advice of the highest and wisest of our realm, we 
cannot well provide for the presence of men of such rank. On which account we 
have ordained to send to you at Kelso, on the 27th day of January next coming, our 
dear and trusty knight, Richard Redmayne, and our beloved clerk, Master Richard 
Holm, canon of York, to meet there, at that time, with commissioners of like rank of 
your side, to lay down distinctly the tenor of such treaties as shall be likely to be 
kept and maintained, and also the rank of the grand commissioners on the one part, 
and on the other, and the day and place at which they might meet on the March, for 


making a final treaty of peace, or a long truce between the two realms, according to 
that which, on their meeting, may seem most expedient and needful, and to treat 
meanwhile on the reparation to be made for attempts contrary to the truce. 
Concerning which, noble Prince, our most dear cousin, in case that you are willing, 
on your part, to act in like manner, and what shall be your intention in this case 
be pleased to certify by your letters before Christmas next coming, at our town of 
Berwick, to our most dear son John, Warden of our East March towards Scotland, to 
whom we have written, to receive the same certification on our behalf for the more 
speedy fulfilment of the business. 

Noble, etc., may our Saviour have you in his holy keeping. 

Given at the Abbey of St. Alban's, the 14th day of November (1410). 1 

The regency of Albany was signalised by the establishment of the 
University of St. Andrews, which was the first in Scotland. It was opened 
in the year 1410, and several of the clergy were appointed Professors, and 
began their prelections ; but the deed of foundation was not obtained from 
Eome until the year 1413. 

Alexander Leslie, ninth Earl of Boss, married Lady Isabella Stewart, one 
of Albany's daughters. To them was born a daughter Euphemia, who is said 
to have been deformed, and on that account to have entered a convent. Her 
father died before 1405, as in that year she was under the care of the Duke, 
her grandfather, who, in a precept of sasine to Donald Caldor of the offices 
of Sheriff of Nairn and Constable of Nairn Castle, granted at Dingwall 
on the 11th of July of that year, is styled Lord of the Ward of Boss. 2 
Countess Euphemia disponed her lands to her maternal uncle, John Stewart 
of Buchan, or, it may be, only expressed her intention of doing so, without 
regard to the claims of her paternal aunt Margaret, who had married Donald, 
Lord of the Isles, and was next heir. In right of his wife the Lord of the 

1 Contemporaneous Draft on vellum in the Cottonian Library, British Museum. 

2 The Thanes of Cawdor, p. 5. 

VOL. I. 2 E 



Isles disputed the disposition of the earldom, and prepared to take it by force. 
Having raised an army of ten thousand men he entered the earldom, laying 
waste all the country he passed through, and proceeded towards Aberdeen, 
intending afterwards to reduce to his power all the country north of the Tay. 
But he was met at Harlaw by Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar, and Alexander 
Ogilvy, Sheriff of Angus, with all the available strength of Mar and Garioch, 
Angus, and the Mearns, and on the 24th of July was fought one of the 
fiercest battles ever waged on Scottish soil. Although Mar's brave army 
suffered severely, the Lord of the Isles was practically defeated by him. 
Owing to the great slaughter among the loyal knights, the governor, at a Parlia- 
ment held soon afterwards, declared that the sons of those who were slain 
should be infeft in their paternal estates without payment of the usual feudal 
fees, and that even minors should be permitted to enter to their lands at once. 
The Duke of Albany followed up the battle of Harlaw by assembling an 
army and proceeding to the castle of Dingwall, the chief messuage of the 
earldom of Eoss, which had been in the possession of the Lord of the Isles. 
He seized the castle, and appointed a keeper. The approach of winter 
prevented further operations at that time, but in the ensuing summer the 
Duke raised three armies and attacked Donald, Lord of the Isles, in his own 
strongholds. The island chieftain, however, shunned the combat, and came 
to the Duke's peace at Loch Gilp, where he gave hostages for his future good 
behaviour, and for indemnifying the injuries he had caused to the lieges. 1 
The Duke of Albany also took the opportunity of strengthening the power 
of the Crown in the north, by causing a castle to be built at Inverness, under 
the direction of Alexander, Earl of Mar, who was for several years engaged 
in superintending its construction, and also with others in securing the peace 
of that part of the country against the Lord of the Isles and the Caterans. 2 
1 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 445. 2 Chamberlain Rolls, vol. iii. pp. 47, 58, 66, 69. 


The Lord of the Isles renounced, at least for the time, his claim to the 
earldom of Boss, which was afterwards resigned by Euphemia, Countess of 
Eoss, into the hands of her grandfather the Governor, on 12th June 1415, and 
on the 1 5th of the same month it was regranted by the Duke to her and the 
heirs of her body ; whom failing, to John Stewart, Earl of Buchan, and his 
heirs-male ; failing him, to Eobert Stewart his brother, and his heirs-male ; 
and failing them, to the King and his heirs, being Kings of Scotland. 1 John, 
Earl of Buchan, afterwards possessed the earldom, and was for some time 
styled Earl of Buchan and Boss. He was slain in Normandy, at the battle 
of Verneuil, in August 1424. Dying without issue, his brother Bobert 
should have inherited the earldom of Boss, but as it was claimed by the Lord 
of the Isles, King James the First appears to have taken advantage of 
the dispute and seized the earldom. Although Bobert Stewart lived until 
1431, he is never mentioned as Earl or Lord of Boss, but only as a Crown 
pensioner. James afterwards bestowed the earldom of Boss upon Alexander, 
Lord of the Isles. 

The Duke of Albany was also allied by marriage with the family of 
Argyll, Duncan, first Lord Campbell, having married Lady Marjory Stewart, 
another daughter of the Duke. Albany granted a charter to his beloved son, 
Duncan Campbell of Lochaw, of the lands of Menstrie, in the shire of 
Clackmannan. To this charter, dated at Stirling, 18th January 1414, Henry 
Bercy, Earl of Northumberland, is a witness, along with WiUiam Douglas 
of Logtoun. 2 This is probably the only instance in which a Bercy and a 
Douglas have been found together as attesting witnesses in a royal Scotch 
charter. The young Earl was still a refugee at the Court of the Governor. 

Although a six years' truce had been agreed to in 1412, of which the 

1 Original in Charter-chest at Leslie House. 

2 Original in the Duke of Argyll's Charter-chest. 


Duke of Albany at once took advantage to seek the release of King James 
and the nobles and knights held in captivity by the English king, a new 
truce was found necessary in the following year. A commission to ambas- 
sadors was granted by the Governor, at his castle of Doune in Menteith, in 
the autumn of 1413, which is here translated from the original Latin : — 

Eobert, son of the King of Scotland, Duke of Albany, Earl of Fife and of 
Menteith, and Governor of the kingdom of Scotland, to all to whose knowledge these 
present letters shall come, greeting : Know ye that we, fully confiding in the fidelity, 
wisdom, and prudence of our beloved and faithful Patrick Dunbar of Bele, our cousin, 
William Hay of Lochorwart, and William of Borthwick, knights, have made, constituted, 
and ordained, and by these presents make, constitute, and ordain, with knowledge and 
consent of Council, them and each, conjunctly and separately, our special deputies, 
commissioners and ambassadors, giving and granting to them and any one of them, 
conjunctly or separately, our full power and special commandment to meet with any 
commissioners or deputies appointed by Henry, King of England, our adversary, on 
days and at places on the marches of England and Scotland or thereabout to be agreed 
upon ; also to treat and confer with the saids commissioners of our foresaid adversary, 
of and concerning a general truce by sea, and a particular truce by land, between us 
and the kingdom of Scotland and our said adversary and kingdom of England, and 
the lieges and subjects of both kingdoms, to be made and confirmed, and to endure for 
such time as shall seem expedient to you and the commissioners of our adversary ; and 
to treat of, do and arrange all and every other thing needful or conducive to the due 
expedition of the premises, even although these should require a more special com- 
mand ; holding and promising to hold whatever our said commissioners or any one 
of them, conjunctly or separately, shall cause to be done in the premises or any of 
the premises. Given under testimony of our Great Seal, at our Castle of Doune in 
Menteith, the 7th day of the month of August, the year of our Lord one thousand 
four hundred and thirteen, and of our governorship the eighth year. 1 

1 Rymer's Fcedera, voL ix. p. 45. This been erected by Murdach, second Duke of 
castle has been erroneously supposed to have Albany. But the fact of the existence of the 


The commissioners were successful in arranging a truce to last from 15th 
Aiiirast to the 1st of June folio wino-. 1 

In the same year, in view of the marriage of his son, John Stewart, Earl of 
Bnchan, which had not yet taken place, the Duke of Albany confirmed a number 
of charters of lands to him and his intended spouse, Lady Elizabeth Douglas. 
The Earl of Douglas resigned into the Governor's hands the lands of Stewar- 
toun, Ormisheuch, and Dunlop, in the barony of Cunningham, and the lands of 
Trabuyage in the earldom of Carrick, all in Ayrshire, which were granted to 
the Earl of Buchan. The lands of Touchfraser, in Stirlingshire, which the 
Earl of Buchan had received six years before from his grandfather, William 
Keith, Marischal of Scotland, were also resigned by and regranted to him, and 
the Governor added the barony of Tillicoultry, in Clackmannanshire. Most 
of these charters were granted about the beginning of November, and one of 
them on the 24th of November, after the Duke had returned to Doune Castle. 2 

The Governor becoming anxious for the return of his eldest son, Sir 
Murdach, from England, had sent repeated embassies to obtain the release of 
both him and the King, but hitherto without success. In this year, 1413, he 
sent his son John, Earl of Buchan, to the King of England, along with his own 
chaplain, John Busby, and a squire, John Porter, to treat for Sir Murdach's 
release. 3 The last-named commissioner had special business with Sir Murdach 
himself, and received a safe-conduct to go to him. 4 There were at the same 
time in England two other Scottish embassies, one of which was negotiating 
for the release of the King, the other, some arduous business connected with 
the two realms. 5 
castle as a residence of Duke Robert, shows 2 Registrum Magni Sigilli, pp. 254-256. 


Rymer's Foedera, vol. ix. p. 48. 

that his son could not have been the builder 
of Doune. A full history of the castle is given 
in a subsequent chapter of this work. lota. p. IZo. 

1 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. ix. p. 60. b Ibid. pp. 71, 79, 145. 


The Scottish commissioners appointed to treat for the release of the 
Duke's son had safe-conducts from Henry the Fifth of England, dated 12th 
May 1415, to proceed to Calf hill, near Berwick, and there exchange Henry 
Percy for Murdach Stewart, 1 but the proposal was not at that time carried 
out, and in the beginning of the month of August tidings reached King Henry 
at Southampton that the Scots were preparing to go to war with England. 2 
On the 5th of the same month he appointed commissioners to meet with 
others from Albany to negotiate a truce, 3 but on the 14th, and also the 24th, 
the King of England stated that he had received information that Albany 
was about to lay siege to Berwick-on-Tweed both by land and sea, and 
had raised a very great army for this purpose, as well as equipped ships, 
and that the attack was to be made within a very short time, an invasion 
of England being also intended. 4 We do not find that any such grave 
conflict took place, save that, as an ancient historian records, in this year, 
1415, the town of Penrith was burned by Archibald, Earl of Douglas, and 
that in return the English burned the town of Dumfries. 6 

Before the close of the year, however, Henry agreed to carry out the 
arrangement for the exchange of Sir Murdach Stewart and Henry Percy, 
and this was finally accomplished in the beginning of the following year. 
It would appear as if this exchange had been first moved by Percy himself 
who was anxious to return to his possessions and earldom on being assured 
of King Henry's good-will towards him, but the Governor refused to allow 
him to depart until some arrangement was made about the Scottish 
prisoners. He was willing, however, to agree to the exchange, and the 
King of England likewise agreed, but only on condition that Percy would 

1 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. ix. p. 244. 4 Rymer's Foedera, vol. ix. pp. 307, 310. 

2 Ibid. p. 299. 

3 Ibid. p. 302. b Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 44S. 


take on himself the burden of £10,000 demanded by him for the ransom 
of Sir Murdach. This Percy undertook, and settled the matter with Sir 
Murdach afterwards. 

The King of Scotland was too valuable a prize to be permitted to return 
to his country on similar terms, although immediately after his son's release 
Albany despatched an embassy to the English King to ascertain on what 
conditions he would consent to restore the royal captive. The commissioners 
were John Hailes, Abbot of Balmerino, Sir John Forrester of Corstorphine, 
and Walter Ogilvy, and their endeavours were so far attended with success 
that an arrangement was made by which James was to visit his kingdom, and 
return again into England, on condition of hostages to the value of 100,000 
marks being found for him. The Scottish commissioners received their safe- 
conducts in the beginning of May 1416, and before the expiry of that year 
Henry appointed Thomas, Bishop of Durham, Henry, Earl of Northumberland, 
and Balph, Earl of Westmoreland, to receive the hostages and securities. 1 
On the same day (8th December 1416) on which Henry granted this com- 
mission, he also empowered the commissioners above mentioned to grant 
safe-conducts to some notable persons coming from Scotland to King 
James in England, while he himself granted the like to Walter Stewart, 
Earl of Athole, Sir William of Graham, Alexander Lindsay, Earl of Crawford, 
George Dunbar, son of the Earl of March, Henry, Bishop of St. Andrews, 
William, Bishop of Glasgow, William Douglas of Drumlanrig, Archibald, Earl 
of Douglas, Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar and Garioch, and the two eldest 
sons of the Duke of Albany, Sir Murdach and John, Earl of Buchan. 2 Their 
business could only be the important one of the King's release, or to make 
arrangements for a temporary visit, and in this the Duke, as he could not 
leave the affairs of the kingdom to go in person in the expectation of 

1 Rymer's Foedera, vol. ix. p. 417. 2 Ibid. p. 418. 


meeting Iris Sovereign, both used his authority as Governor, and sent his 
two sons to represent him. The arrangement, however, was never carried 
into effect, and King James was still detained in England. 

Albany continued, therefore, to discharge the onerous duties of Eegent, 
and with evident acceptance to both nobles and people. He gave licence, 
dated 3d March 1416, to James Dundas of Dundas, to build, fortify, and 
erect in height his tower at Dundas in form of a castle, to surround it with 
walls and ditches as he pleased, and to appoint a constable, porter, and other 
keepers, with the powers usual to such in any Scottish castle. 1 To the 
Church likewise the Duke was generous, and maintained its privileges. 
He frequently ratified the grants and immunities which had been conceded 
to the Church by the Kings of Scotland, besides giving grants himself. On 
8th September 1406, at Falkland, he granted the third part of the lands of 
the barony of Bosyth for the support of a chaplain in the parish church 
of Inverkeithing, for the souls of his wife Muriella, Duchess of Albany, her 
father, William Keith, Mareschal, and others; 2 and on the 26th of June 
following, he gave half of his annual rent of twenty marks of the lands 
of Cragorth for the sustenance of a chaplain in the chapel of Michael 
the Archangel in Stirling Castle, where masses might be said for his 
own soul and those of his two wives Margaret and Muriel, and their 
children, and also for the souls of the Kings of Scotland since King 
Eobert the Bruce. 2 In 1406, when the Bailies of Ayr were condemned in 
£140 for absenting themselves from the Exchequer Audits for fourteen years 
past, the Governor and Lords Auditors remitted the amount on condition 
that the Communitas of Ayr would caiise three trentalia 4 of masses to be 

1 Historical Manuscripts Commission's Third Report, Appendix, p. 413. 

2 Registrum Magni Sigilli, p. 227. 3 Ibid. p. 231. 

4 An office for the dead lasting thirty days, or consisting of thirty masses. 



celebrated for the souls of the Kings of Scotland, the Duke of Bothesay, and 
all the faithful deceased. 1 Tn 1408 he granted the rents of the lands of the 
bishopric of Moray, which were in the hands of the Crown for the time, the 
see being vacant, to the Earl of Moray, for the rebuilding of the Cathedral 
Church of that diocese at Elgin, and another grant of £79, 15s. 6d. was made 
to the Bishop of Moray in 1413 for the same purpose. 2 The whole of the 
fees of the Chamberlain-ayres at Edinburgh, in 1409 and 1413, with the 
exception of their expenses, were granted in those years to the work of St. 
Giles's Cathedral in that city; and on another occasion, in 1414, when the 
parish church of Stirling was destroyed by fire, he granted the proceeds of 
the Chamberlain Court held in Stirling for its restoration. 3 Again, on the 
26th June 1417, when the Sheriffs of Aberdeen and Banff were disposed to 
trespass upon the privileges of the clergy in that part, the Duke wrote 
straitly commanding them to forbear. 4 And thus by a wise discretion he 
preserved peace and harmony in the country, and procured for himself the 
favour of all classes, both of clergy and laity. 

Previous to 22d June 1417, the Duke was present at Justice-ayres 
held at Ayr, and also at Irvine. 5 At the latter burgh he adjudicated on a 
cause which had arisen betwixt the burghers and William Frances of Stane, 
and the following deliverance is interesting as revealing his sound discretion 
and prudence in such matters : — 

Kobert, Duke of Albany, Earl of Fife and Menteith, and Governor of the kingdom 
of Scotland, to all and sundry to whose knowledge the present letters shall come, 
greeting. Because it is pious and meritorious to bear testimony to the truth, and 
particularly in a cause or case in which concealment of the truth respecting fees and 
heritage might be created to innocent persons, hence it is that we notify to you all, 

1 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iv. pp. 22, 23. 4 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 

2 Ibid. pp. 6S, 173. vol. xii. p. 22. 

3 Ibid. pp. 129, 188, 210. 5 Chamberlain Rolls, vol. iii. p. 91. 
VOL. I. 2 F 


by the tenor of these present letters, that on account of a certain disagreement moved 
between the bailies, burgesses, and community of the burgh of Irwyne on the one 
part, and William Frances of Stane on the other part, respecting a certain claim of 
heritable possession of a piece of moor lying at the west end of the chapel of Saint 
Bridgidie, in the barony of Conynghame in the sheriffdom of Are, on account of 
which disagreement moved betwixt the said parties, and for avoiding the evil and ills 
which might thence arise, we caused the said piece of moor, with its pertinents, to 
be duly recognosced into our hands a long time ago, and afterwards for putting a 
termination to the said disagreement, and for seeing, declaring, and finally determining 
to which of the said parties the said piece of moor, with its pertinents, ought to 
belong and of right and reason to remain with, we caused to be duly summoned by 
our bailie of the barony of Conynghame, by our letters-patent under our seal, the 
aforesaid parties, together with the better and more faithful men of the country, in 
proper person to appear before us on Saturday the 24th day of July, personally on 
the said account. On which day the said summons being duly proved before us then 
by good and faithful men of the country, by whom the truth of the thing could be 
better known, their great oath intervening, viz., John of Camera of Gadgirth, John 
Locarde of the Bar, Kobert Boos of Tarbart, John of Aruot of Lochrig, Bobert of 
Fergushill of the same, Henry of Conynghame, John Boyle of Caleburn, Alexander 
Frazer of Knock, Finlay Monfode of the same, John of Langmuir of the same, John 
Homil, Gilbert Spere, John Gibbouuson, William Dobynsoun, and Adam Lachlane, 
we caused to be diligently and faithfully inquired which of the said parties was in 
possession of the said piece of moor at the time of our recognition aforesaid, and 
being sworn and well and maturely advised and counselled, in one voice, with no 
difference, said, declared, and finally determined that the aforesaid bailies, burgesses, 
and community were in possession of the said moor, with its pertinents, at the 
time of our recognition above mentioned, and therefore the said moor, with the 
pertinents, in presence of many chiefs of the realm, barons, knights, and nobles of 
the kingdom, namely, Murdach Stewart of Kynclevine our lieutenant, John Stewart, 
Earl of Buchan, our dearest sons, John of Montgomeri of Ardrossan, Winfrid of 
Conynghame of Auchtercuachane, knight, Alexander of Levingstoun of Kalandare, 


William of Conynghame of Kilmawris, and Archibald of Conynghame of Auchinbowie, 
and many others of deliberate counsel, we deliver in surety to the said bailies, 
burgesses, and community as possessors of the same, as we were bound and ought to 
do in consequence of the office we had undertaken, etc. etc. 1 

The King of England had gone to France with the flower of his army, 
leaving his own kingdom in the care of his brother, the Duke of Bedford. 
During his absence, says an English historian, the Lollards (a political party 
opposed to the House of Lancaster), under the leading of Sir John Oldcastle, 
began to scheme madly and to incite the Scots, both by entreaties and 
promises of money, to enter England, assuring them that it would be easy 
work. William Douglas, it was said, had been spoken with at Pontefract, and 
promised a large amount of gold if he succeeded in raising his countrymen 
to undertake the invasion. They desired the Scots also to bring with them 
the person at that time at Albany's Court, whom many thought to be King 
Richard of England, so that he might show himself as King of England. 2 
The Scots gathered to the fray with alacrity, and the Governor, dividing his 
army into two portions, sent one of them under Archibald, Earl of Douglas, 
to besiege Roxburgh Castle, while he himself proceeded to Berwick. 3 
Douglas had commenced the siege of Roxburgh by undermining the walls, 
but when the Duke of Bedford, with other English nobles, was announced to 
be rapidly approaching, at the head of more than a hundred thousand men, 4 
the enterprise was suddenly abandoned, and the Scots retired somewhat 
precipitately, on account of which the incident, says a Scottish chronicler, 
was afterwards commonly known as " the foul raid." 5 

In the year 1417, the question of the occupancy of the Papal throne 
1 Translation from Topographical Descrip- 2 Walsingham, p. 446. 

tion of Ayrshire, by George Robertson. — 3 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 449. 

Original in Irvine Town-Council Charter- 4 Walsingham, p. 447. 

chest. 5 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 449. 


commanded the attention of the Parliament and people of Scotland in a 
special manner. The Council of Constance had heen sitting for several years, 
but without any representative from Scotland, which at this time was the 
only kingdom adhering firmly to Pope Benedict the Thirteenth. In this 
year, however, the Council sent a commissioner to invite the adherence of 
Scotland, who made known his errand in an address before the Governor, 
and the three Estates of the kingdom met in Parliament at Perth. The 
Emperor Sigismond wrote at the same time to the Governor and Parliament 
urging union with the Council. On the other hand, Benedict wrote to the 
Governor and Parliament to stand fast in their obedience to him. The Duke 
of Albany personally favoured the claims of Benedict, and obtained an English 
friar, Kobert Harding, to dispute the matter against the commissioner of the 
Council of Constance. The entire University of St. Andrews were quite 
opposed to the English priest, but he, backed by the Governor, stubbornly 
pursued the debate. At length the question was to be settled in Parliament 
on the 2d or 3d of October, and Harding did his best to keep back the 
kingdom from the Council, and from transferring their obedience from 
Benedict to Pope Martin the Fifth, who had lately been appointed by the 
Council of Constance ; but it was to no purpose, as the Scottish clergy, prefer- 
ring a united Church to standing out singly for Benedict, obtained a resolution 
of Parliament to accede to the Council of Constance and Pope Martin. 1 

The fate of King Bichard the Second of England became a question 
during the regency of Albany. Towards the close of the reign of King 
Eobert the Third there was brought to his Court a person said to be King 
Bichard. He had been found wandering in the Western Islands, and was 
sent to King Eobert by the Lord of the Isles, under the belief that he was 
the late King of England. Although the captive denied the identity, he was 

1 Fordnn, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 451. 


detained at Court, and after King Bobert's death Albany continued to main- 
tain him. On his death in 1419 he was buried at Stirling, and a monument 
erected to him as King Richard. Frequent references to this person, as 
King Eichard of England, occur in the Exchequer Eolls, between the years 
1408 and 1417, showing that during the Eegency he was maintained at 
Albany's own charges. A memorandum in the account rendered on 2 2d 
June 1417, notes that Albany had received no allowance for the expenses 
of the custody of King Eichard of England since the death of King Eobert 
the Third, a period of eleven years. The auditors estimated the cost at 100 
merks yearly, and stated the amount due to the Eegent as £733, 6s. Sd. 1 

While the Scottish Court treated this person as Eichard, and his adhe- 
rents in England raised rebellions in his behalf, King Henry the Fifth dealt 
with him as an impostor, and the evidence adduced in the course of the 
discussion which the subject has evoked proves that he was Thomas Warde 
of Trumpington, a half-witted Englishman, who bore some resemblance 
to King Eichard. The imposition was chiefly maintained by an accom- 
plice, William Serle, once a servant of Eichard, who obtained possession of 
the royal signet, and sealed forged letters in the name of his master. Serle 
was ultimately taken by the English and put to death. 

The friendly relations between England and Scotland were still insecure, 
and any truces made were little regarded when anything occurred to rouse 
the spirits of either nation. Henry was again at war with France, and King 
Charles the Sixth, feeling himself in danger, wrote to Albany to afford 
him some help against the King of England, in accordance with the treaties 
between France and Scotland. Before doing so, the Governor assembled 
the Barhament, and by them it was agreed that the Governor's second son, 
John Stewart, Earl of Buchan, who was already famous as a soldier, should 
1 Chamberlain Eolls, vol. iii. p. 25. 


go to France with seven thousand knights and soldiers. The Scots were 
cordially received by the French King, and won laurels for themselves 
in the field, the Earl of Buchan so distinguishing himself by his bravery 
that he was created Constable of France. 1 On learning that ships had 
been despatched to Scotland for assistance, Henry wrote to England with 
instructions that they should be intercepted, 2 but if any attempt was made 
to carry out this order it was not successful. 

Not long after this the Duke of Albany, worn out by a long life of labour, 
died at Stirling, being upwards of eighty years of age. He died, says the 
historian, quietly in his bed, after partaking of the Sacraments, in a sound 
mind, and in a Christian manner. He was buried in Dunfermline Abbey, 
between the choir and the Chapel of our Lady, and on his tomb was placed 
the following epitaph : — - 

Jura tuens, et pacis amans, et maximus arims, 
Eobertus primus, dux in Albania summus, 
Gratia naturae speculum, quo vera refulcit 
Justitia, et quicquid in principe mundus adorat, 
Occidit, et pariter decus et pax, Scotia, totus 
Excidit, Boberto custode rebus adempto, 
Anno milleno quater C. X. que noveno. 
Ejusdem flamen cum Christo gaudeat. Amen. 3 

Bower, the continuator of Fordun, states that the death of the Duke 
took place on the 3d September 1419, but this is evidently a mistake, as it 
does not agree with his statement that Albany ruled Scotland for fifteen 
years. Besides, in the Chamberlain's account rendered at Perth on 28th 
July 1420, there is evidence of the Duke's being alive at that date, 4 while in 

1 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 458. 3 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 466. 

2 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. ix. p. 791. 4 Chamberlain Rolls, vol. iii. p. 109. 



that rendered about a year later he is mentioned as deceased. 1 And in 
addition to these there is in the Eegister of the Great Seal a charter by King- 
James the First, dated 29th August, anno 25 (1430), confirming a charter by 
Robert, Duke of Albany, to William, Lord of Graham, and his wife Mariota 
Stewart, the Duke's sister, and Robert of Graham his son, of the lands of 
Aldmonros and others, dated at " Faulkland, quarto die mensis Augusti anno 
Domini, millesimo quadringentesimo vicesimo, et gubernacionis nostre quinto- 
decimo" — 4th August 1420, and of our government the fifteenth year. 2 

It will not be amiss to notice here the character given to the Duke by 
those historians who lived in his time, that it may be placed in contrast with 
that which is generally attributed to him by later historians. The facts of 
his life, as related in the preceding pages, will show which view of his 
character is the correct one. 

The prejudices of Pinkerton made him distort almost every act in the life 
of Albany to his discredit, yet he is obliged to admit that Albany had many 
good qualities. He says that his person was tall and majestic, his counten- 
ance amiable ; temperance, affability, eloquence, real generosity, apparent 
benignity, a degree of cool prudence, bordering upon wisdom, were among his 
virtues, and it will be seen that this description of them is derived from 
contemporary historians. The vices with which Pinkerton charges Albany 
are vouched for by no authority whatever, but derived solely from his own 
imagination, which from his youth was sometimes too lively. 

Tytler, who is generally impartial, has unfortunately been misled by 
Pinkerton in estimating the character of Albany. The contemporary 
historians are much more reliable than those of modern times, and we shall 
hear what they say of Albany. 

1 Chamberlain Rolls, vol. iii. p. 117. 

2 Registrum Magni Sigilli, Lib. iii. No. SI, MS. 



The continuator of Eordun, Walter Bower, Abbot of St. Colme, in 
Albany's earldom of Fife, from the year 1418, says of him: — He ruled as 
Governor, after the death of Ms brother, for fifteen years ; and if perchance 
it was the case that great crimes committed by the powerful nobles were 
as if winked at by the Governor, it was owing to his prudently seeking the 
most fitting season for bringing about a reformation, and not using force 
where it would not have been successful. 1 He was one of the most patient 
of men, gentle and kind, affable and communicative, ordinarily sociable, 
somewhat extravagant, open-handed to strangers, singular above all his 
compeers. In stature he was tall, and comely in form, with white hair and 
an amiable countenance ; he was endued with patience and fortitude, with 
temperance and constant forbearance. Indeed, wisdom had so adorned him 
as if with the ornament of every virtue, that his speech was always gracious 

1 The crimes to ■which. Bower seems here 
to refer were probably the frequent assaults 
made upon the officers of the Crown who 
collected the revenues, the custumars of Edin- 
burgh and Linlithgow being most frequently 
the victims. The practice, initiated by the 
Duke of Rothesay when Lieutenant of the 
King, had been imitated by several of the 
more powerful nobles and barons, of whom the 
chief offenders were the Earl of Douglas and his 
brother James, Walter of Haliburton, William 
of Borthwick, and George of Dunbar, son of 
the Earl of March. These at times waylaid the 
custumars, or enticed them into their castles, 
and refused to release them until they paid 
down certain sums of money, and at other 
times they shipped off their goods or removed 
them from bond without payment of the dues. 
One of the most flagrant of these assaults was 

perpetrated by William of Borthwick, captain 
of the Castle of Edinburgh, who, in 1419 or 
1420, insisted on having his goods shipped, 
although the Governor had prohibited expor- 
tation for the time, and when the officer in 
charge, Robert of Lorn, had prepared his 
books for the Exchequer Audit, he sent for 
him, took his books, and would not restore 
them ; and in addition to this, besides the 
fee for the custody of the castle, his servants 
and those of the Earl of Douglas had taken 
from the customs no less a sum than £S84, 16s. 
For his care in making a note of what skins 
William of Borthwick had got shipped during 
the prohibited time, Robert of Lorn was 
rewarded by the Governor with a gift of 
£1, 13s. 4d. — [Exchequer Rolls, vol. iv. pp. 


and wholesome, whether in the highest Courts of the realm or in any 
other. This is valuable testimony as coming from one who wrote in the 
reign of James the Second, when, as a recent historian remarks, all were 
at liberty to speak freely of the actions and character of Albany, and 
time had been given to this writer to investigate and discover the truth. 1 

A later history, which does not take a favourable view of Albany's 
character, yet says very little about him, admits that great fertility reigned 
in the kingdom under the Duke's Government. 2 

Wyntoun also, who lived in Scotland during almost the entire period of 
the Duke of Albany's life, is entitled to be heard. He was Prior of St. Serfs 
Inch in Lochleven, in the county of Kinross adjoining Fife, and had thus 
ample opportunities of observing the true character of Albany, which he 
extolled in the following glowing encomium : — 

He wes full brotliire to the King, 
That last, as ye herd, imiid endyng. 
He wes a [seimly] fair persown, 
And had of wertewis hie renown ; 
He wes fair [and] plesand in youtheid, 
Stout and wycht 3 in rype manheid ; 
In-til his eld in-til Scotland 4 
Mare wys than he wes nane livand ; 
He wes of hey and faire stature. 
He luvyt and honouryt his Creature ; 
At Goddis service, and at his Mes, 
In all tyra rycht dewote he wes. 
He wes a constant G'atholike ; 
All Lollard he hatyt and heretike. 

1 Tytler's History of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 467. 3 Brave. 

2 Liber Plusearclensis, p. 369. 4 In his age in Scotland. 
VOL. I. 2 G 



In chastite he led his life, 

But all foul lust, be-sid his wife. 

He ete and drank bot sobirly, 

And all tym fed hym-self fairly. 

To Lordis a meroure clene wes he 

Of honoure and of honeste. 

To-giddir had all the pryncis bene 

Of all the warld, and he thare sene, 

Of thame all suld na persown 

Be than he worth mare renown. 

Be wertuous aporte, 1 fair having 

Besemyl he couth a mychty King ; 

To that baith curtas and cunnand 2 

He wes, bath habyl and avenand ; s 

To knychtis and sqwyeris and all gentyle 

He wes famyliare and humyle. 

Ye bischopis, abbotis, and prelatis, 

Throu hym ye joysit wele your statis ; 

In kyrke for-thi at youre alteris 

Ye spend for hym devote prayeris. 

All kyrkmen of laware greis, 

Bowys to God for hym youre kneis ; 

He wes to yow in generale 

Lele, luvand, and ryeht speciale. 

Ladys, madynis, and women all, 

This Pryuce ye suld your consorte call 1 

And specialy with your prayeris pure 

Commend hym til his Creature. 

Husbandis [hale] that wynnis the come, 

He has oft gert you be forborne 

1 Conduct. - Courteous and knowing. 3 Able and polite. 


Of thd, that litil or nocht wald pay ; 

It is youre det for hym to pray. 

For the pure commownys he maid defens 

All tym wytht gret diligens : 

His bed-men thai suld be for-thi, 

And pray for hym rycht hartfully. 

Lele and luvand he wes but let 

Tyl all, that aucht that of det. 

For pete he wald mony spare, 

Set cause requiryt to greve thaim sair. 

The tend persown he wes be get 

In lineale descens frd Sanct Margret ; 

Of that rute the kynd flewoure, 

As flouris havand that sawoure, 

He had, and held, and all tym grew, 

Ay burjownand 1 in bownte new. 

Thare mycht of hym yeit be said mare, 

Gyf I to that of wertew ware ; 

Wyth tethe for-thi my toung I steke : 

Of hym enuch I ean-noucht speke. 

The froit of hym God grant to be 

Sic, as in his tym wes he ! 

Thine propire prole hym parify 2 fr£ plycht, and M pyne, 
Thou vertuous, inviolate, and verray Virgyne. 3 

There existed, in the church of St. Giles at Edinburgh, a pillar which 
bore the name of the Albany pillar, from having on its capital two shields 
of arms, one on the south side bearing the arms of the Duke of Albany, 
and the other on the north those of Archibald, fourth Earl of Douglas. 4 

1 Sprouting. 3 Wyntoun's Cronykil, vol. ii. pp. 41S-421. 

- Protect. * Charters of Church of St. Giles, p. xiii. 


Wilson, in his Memorials of Edinburgh, suggests that this is the remaining 
token of an expiatory offering of a chapel for the murder of the Duke 
of Eothesay, which he has little doubt was committed by these two 
nobles. 1 But lie might have found a better reason for the Albany and 
Douglas arms being in the church, in the fact of their being contributors 
to the reparation of that edifice, 2 and the custom which obtains, even in 
the present day, of decorating cathedrals with the armorial bearings of the 

The Duchess Muriella survived the death of her husband, Duke Eobert, 
for a considerable time, and had an annual pension from King James the 
First of £100. 3 She is frequently mentioned in the Chamberlain Accounts 
from 142G to 1449, as receiving payments of her pension, and some smaller 
grants. 4 She died shortly before Whitsunday 1449. 

By his two wives Duke Robert had four sons and six daughters. 

1. Murdach, only son of Countess Margaret. He succeeded his father 

as Duke of Albany, etc., and was eleventh Earl of Menteith. 

2. John Stewart, eldest son of Duchess Muriella. He became Lord 

Chamberlain of Scotland, and was created Earl of Buchan. He 
married Lady Elizabeth Douglas, daughter of Archibald, fourth 
Earl of Douglas. Their only child Margaret married George, 
Lord Seton. As already stated, the Earl of Buchan was, for his 
bravery in France against the English, created by the French 
King Constable of France. He was slain on the field of Yerneuil, 
in France, on the 18th August 1424. 

3. Andrew Stewart, second son of Duchess Muriella. In the grant of 

1 Memorials, vol. ii. p. 168. 3 Chamberlain Bolls, vol. iii. p. 212. 

- Charters of Church of St. Giles, pp. xci, 4 Ibid. pp. 1S2, 219, 235, and Exchequer 

xciL Rolls, vol. iv. pp. 417, 466, 613, clxxvii, etc. 


the earldom of Buchan by Eobert, Duke of Albany, to his son 
John, on 20th September 1406, the destination, in the case of the 
failure of heirs-male of John, is to Andrew Stewart his brother- 
german, and the heirs-male of his body ; whom failing, to Eobert 
Stewart his brother-german, and his heirs-male ; the lands of 
Touchfraser and barony of Obeyn, given to John, Lord of Buchan, 
by Sir William Keith, Marischal, contained a similar destination. 1 
Andrew appears to have died without issue before the year 1413, 
as in a charter granted in that year to Euphame, Countess of 
Boss, with a taillie to John, Earl of Buchan, he is omitted, and 
the destination in failure of heirs-male of John, is to Eobert 
Stewart his brother, etc. 2 
4. Eobert Stewart, youngest son of Duchess Muriella. He accom- 
panied his brother John to France, and is generally stated by 
historians to have fallen with him in the battle of Verneuil. 
This, however, is a mistake, as he was alive in 1431, and 
received in that and the two previous years a pension out of the 
customs of the burgh of Dundee of £13, 6s. 8d. 3 

Of the six daughters of Duke Eobert, Lady Janet, the eldest, is the only 

one of whom it can be said with certainty that Countess Margaret was the 

mother. But the Countess was probably also the mother of several of the 

others. The names of the daughters are : — 

1. Lady Janet, who was contracted in marriage, on 20th July 1372, 

to David of Loen, eldest son of Sir Bertold of Loen and Lady 

Philippa Moubray of Barnbougle. 4 

1 Registrum Magni Sigilli, pp. 229, 230. 2 Robertson's Index, p. 160. 

5 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iv. pp. 470, 500, 532. 

4 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 258. See also p. 140 of this volume. 



2. Lady Maria, married Sir William Abernethy of Saltoun, and had 

issue. Two of their sons, William and Patrick, are mentioned 
in the Chamberlain Accounts as grandsons of the Governor in 
1407 and 1414. The latter was dead in 1418. 1 

3. Lady Margaret, who married, 1st, after 1390, John Swinton of 

Swinton, who was killed at Homildon in 1402 ; and 2d, Eobert 
Stewart of Lorn, to both of whom she had issue. A son by her 
first husband is mentioned in the Chamberlain Accounts, in 
1415 and 1417, as John of Swinton, grandson of the Governor. 2 

4. Lady Isabel, who married, 1st, Alexander Leslie, Earl of Eoss : 2d, 

Walter Haliburton of Dirleton, to both of whom she had issue. 

5. Lady Marjory, who married Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochaw, after- 

wards Lord Campbell. Their grandson was the first Earl of Argyll. 

6. Lady Elizabeth, who married Sir Malcolm Fleming of Cumbernauld, 

and had issue. 3 

1 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iv. pp. 42, 197, 297. 
3 Ibid. pp. 226, 279- 

3 Charter 2Sth June 1413, Diplomata 
Scotia?, No. lxii. 


r r rr:irr> » c "^i~ ., 


- -^t- "'^%siti'M'TTrrnrrrrrr'PTTi5^i8S<, W 

9l* g^ " ^ 

g iH 






LADY ISABELLA, COt T NTESS OF LENNOX, his Duchess, 1392—1460. 

SIR MURDACH STEWART, the eldest son of Robert Stewart, then Lord 
of Menteith, and Lady Margaret, Countess of Menteith, was probably 
born in the year 1362. Owing to the long life of his father, the first Duke 
of Albany, Sir Murdach did not succeed to the possession of any of the 
earldoms until he had attained the somewhat advanced age of fifty-eight, and 
then to enjoy them only for a few years before the headsman's axe parted 
him from them for ever. During the reign of his uncle, King Robert the 
Third, he served his country in the honourable office of Justiciar north of 
the Forth. 

He was appointed to that office at a meeting of Parliament held at 
Holyrood, Edinburgh, on the 2d of April 1389, when the three Estates, 
taking into consideration the unsettled condition of matters in the country, 
and that, without a sufficiently powerful following, the duties of that office 
could not be easily discharged if things continued to be the same as they 
then were, arranged that his father, the Earl of Fife, should, in the first 
instance, cause it to be administered, wdiich the Earl promised he would do. 1 

Several documents afford evidence of Sir Murdach Stewart's exercise of 
this office. Under that designation he witnessed a charter by Hugh Fraser, 
Lord of Kinnell, to Walter of Tulloch, of lands in Forfarshire, which was 
granted at Inverness on 5th November 1390. 2 Nearly two years later he 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 2 Appendix to Seventh Report by His- 

vol. i. p. So 7. torical mss. Commissioners, p. 718. 


presided at a justice-ayre held in the Burgh Court of Perth, where John of 
Logy, who had only recently recovered his lands from the Justiciar's father, 
Robert, Earl of Fife and Menteith, claimed jurisdiction over two men who had 
been brought up for trial at Perth. John of Logy showed the royal charters 
which conferred the rights of jurisdiction upon him, and these having been 
read in Court, it was agreed to transfer the men to the regality court of 
Logy. The document which relates this procedure styles Sir Murdach 
Stewart Lord of Apthane, as well as Justiciar north of the Forth. 1 

On the complaint and appeal of William, bishop of Moray, to the 
Justiciar, from an adverse judgment pronounced against him in the Sheriff- 
Court of Inverness, Sir Murdach Stewart issued a letter interdicting the 
Sheriff and bailiffs of that county from putting their judgment (if judgment, 
he remarks, it ought to be called) in force, and requiring their attendance, as 
well as that of all the assessors who consented to that decision, at his next 
justice-court within their bounds, to hear his determination on the matter 
in form of law. This letter was dated at Perth, 21st October 1398. 2 

The salary attached to the office of Justiciar was probably mainly 
dependent on the fees of the courts held, evidently with the understanding 
that if they did not amount to a stated sum, they were to be supplemented 
by the Treasury. The notices of payment in the Chamberlain's Accounts 
are very few, and when they do occur in connection with this office, it is a 
payment in complement of his annual fee, or as part payment for a certain 
year, 3 so that the full amount of the fee attached to the office is not 

In addition to being Justiciar north of the Forth, Sir Murdach Stewart 
was appointed by King Eobert the Third, on 16th July 1390, one of the 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 2G6. 2 Piegistrum Moraviense, p. 210. 

3 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iii. p. 316. 


conservators of a truce between England and Scotland, who were to watch 
over its observance as well by sea as by land, and towards the Marches. 
They had power to redress all wrongs clone in prejudice of this truce, and 
also to punish the breakers thereof. 1 

When Sir Murdach was about twenty-nine or thirty years of age, his 
father arranged his marriage with Lady Isabella, eldest daughter of Duncan, 
Earl of Lennox. Duncan was the last Earl of the race of Lennox, and 
having no sons, Lady Isabella was the heiress both to the earldom and 
dignity. Previous to the marriage an indenture was made, on 17th 
February 1392, at Inchmunin, in Lochlomond, the island residence of the 
Earls of Lennox, between Earl Duncan and Robert, Earl of Fife and 
Menteith, in which the terms of the union were arranged as follows : — 

Sir Murdach, son and heir of the Earl of Fife, should have to wife 
Isabella, the eldest daughter of the Earl of Lennox, and endow her in the 
barony of Redhall, with its pertinents, in tenandry and domain, and the Earl 
of Lennox agreed to resign in the King's hands all his earldom of Lennox, 
with its pertinents, for new infeftment to him and the heirs-male of his 
body ; whom failing, to Sir Murdach and Isabella, and the survivor of them 
two and their lawful heirs ; whom failing, to the next lawful heirs of the Earl 
of Lennox, and to purchase the King's consent, and also that of his father 
Walter, Allan's son, to this new tailzie. It was also arranged that if Earl 
Duncan had an heir-male born to him, and he should come to man's estate, 
while the Earl of Fife had a daughter to be married, then Earl Duncan's 
son, as he would be Earl of Lennox, should marry that daughter of the Earl 
of Fife ; but if the Earl of Fife had no daughter for the son of the Earl of 
Lennox to marry, he was to wed a next cousin of the Earl of Fife at his or 
Sir Murdach's assignation, but without disparagement of the Earl of Lennox 

1 Rymer's Fcetlera, vol. vii. p. 633. 
VOL. I. 2 H 



or his heirs-male. Earl Duncan agreed to pay for the marriage of his daughter 
Isabella two thousand marks sterling, of which, however, one-half was to be 
returned in the event of the marriage of the heir-male before mentioned, or 
of Earl Duncan himself : the Earl of Fife, so long as he was Justiciar of the 
sheriffdoms of Stirling and Dumbarton, agreed to appoint Earl Duncan his 
deputy and substitute in as much as pertained to the lordship of the Lennox, 
and to give him the third part of all his profits from that lordship. Further, 
the Earl of Fife and Sir Murdach his son were to be faithful helpers and 
counsellors to the Earl of Lennox in all his causes, while Earl Duncan was 
to abide by their advice with that of discreet men of his own council. 
The Earl of Fife was bound to procure the honourable marriage, at his own 
cost, of one of the other two daughters of the Earl of Lennox, Elizabeth or 
Margaret, while Earl Duncan and Sir Murdach were to procure the marriage 
of the other daughter at their cost; and finally, the Earl of Fife or Sir 
Murdach was to convey as much land as now properly belonged to the Earl 
of Lennox, heritably to the heirs-male of Sir Murdach and Lady Isabella. 
All which faithfully to keep and fulfil the said Earls and Sir Murdach made 
oath upon the Gospels. 1 

In terms of this arrangement, the Earl of Lennox, in the same year, 
resigned his earldom into the hands of King Eobert the Third, who, on 
Sth November 1392, regranted it to the Earl, under the conditions provided 
for in the indenture. 2 The other provisions, which were not conditional on 
the birth of an heir-male to Earl Duncan, were carried out in due course. 
Lady Isabella's two sisters seem to have been married shortly afterwards, 
Elizabeth to Sir John Stewart, son of Sir Alexander Stewart of Darnley, 
and Margaret to Eobert Menteith of Eusky. 3 By a charter of Eobert, Earl 

1 Indenture printed in The Lennox, by William Fraser, vol. ii. pp. 43, 44. 
- Ibid. p. 50. 3 Ibid. vol. i. p. Ii. 


of Fife and Menteith, dated at Stirling, 6th March 1401, Earl Duncan was 
created coronator of the whole earldom, of the Lennox, with all the fees and 
emoluments justly belonging to that office, with power to appoint deputies 
and servants at his pleasure. The office was to descend to his heirs. 1 

Sir Murdach Stewart was one of the knights pensioned by King Eobert 
the Third for the securing of the succession of his sons on the throne. By 
a charter dated at Perth on 8th February 1393, the King granted to Sir 
Murdach and his heirs-male, for homage and service and special retinue to Ms 
eldest son, David Stewart, Earl of Carrick, and if he should die, to his 
second son, Sir Eobert Stewart, one hundred marks sterling annually, to be 
paid out of the great custom of Aberdeen. In case of deficiency at any 
time, the Lord Chamberlain was to pay the balance for that time. 2 The 
payment of the pension was regularly made, as appears from the entries in 
the Chamberlain's accounts. 3 The first of these entries is worth quoting, 
as it certifies that King Eobert the Third had a second son other than Prince 
James, a fact which has not been generally recognised : — 

By payment made to Sir Murdach Stewart, the King's nephew, for his homage 
and service and special retinue, to David, eldest son of the King, Earl of Carrick, to 
be continued for the whole term of his life, and should it chance the said David to 
die, to be continued to Eobert Stewart, the second son of the King, one hundred 
marks sterling annually, to be uplifted from the great custom of Aberdeen by the 
hands of the King's custumars there for the time, etc., the said Murdach also 
acknowledging receipt, ,£66, 13s. 4d. 

Prince Eobert Stewart thus referred to had been named after his father ; 
and he must have died soon after 1393, without issue. 

1 Cartularium de Levenax, p. 95. 3 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iii. pp. 326, 3(iO, 

2 Registrum Magni Sigilli, p. 213. 3SS, 414, 441, 49S, 540, G29. 



In "one document alreadv referred to. Sir Murdach is designed Lord of 
Apthane, but his general designation during his father's lifetime was Lord of 
Kinclevin, and he is so styled in most of the documents issued by him as 
Justiciar north of the Forth which have come down to us. He is so named 
in a writ which records his presidency at a court held at Aberdeen in the 
month of February 1397, upon an inquisition sought by two heirs to a piece 
of land from which they alleged they had been unjustly kept back, although 
they were the nearest heirs of the lately deceased owner. 1 

Sir Murdach Stewart's career in Scotland, and his occupancy of the 
important offices above referred to, received a sudden check by his capture 
at Homildon on 14th September 1402, when the Earl of Douglas was defeated 
by Percy, and he himself with many other Scottish nobles taken prisoner. 
The circumstances which led to this engagement, and the battle itself, have 
already been described in the preceding memoir, and need not be repeated 
here. The treasonable proceedings of the Earl of Northumberland, and his 
subsequent defeat at Shrewsbury, with his flight into Scotland, have also 
been detailed, but Sir Murdach Stewart does not appear to have engaged in 
Percy's enterprise. Perhaps, as the most important of the Scottish prisoners, 
he had, after a short sojourn in some of the Northumbrian fortresses, been 
transferred to the English capital, and consigned to the Tower, 2 but on a 
request made by his father to the English King, he seems to have been 
permitted to remain afterwards at the English Court. An attempt, made 
by the Duke of Albany about this time, to obtain the liberation of Sir 
Murdach and the Earl of Douglas, who had been taken prisoner at Shrews- 
bury, proved of no avail, although King Eobert the Third used his influence 
with Henry the Fourth. 3 

1 Antiquities of Aberdeenshire, vol. iii. 
p. 263. 

2 Rymer's Fceclera, vol. viii. p. 346. 

3 Ibid. p. 358. 



After Prince James was added to the number of Scottish prisoners in 
the hands of the King of England, repeated attempts were made to procure 
the restoration of both him and Sir Murdach, several of which have been 
referred to in the preceding memoir. In the year 1413, Sir John Stewart, 
Earl of Buchan, was despatched to arrange his brother's liberation, 1 but was 
no more successful than his predecessors. In the following year, 1414, 
another attempt was made by the despatch of Sir Robert Maxwell of 
Calderwood and Master Robert Lany, provost of St. Andrews, for whom a 
safe-conduct was granted by King Henry the Fifth on the 8th of May, to 
continue in force until the 1st of July. 2 On its receipt the Duke of 
Albany granted the commission to his two nuncios, of which the following 
is a translation : — 

Robert, son of the King of Scotland, Duke of Albany, Earl of Fife and of Menteith, 
and Governor of the foresaid kingdom, to all to whose knowledge the present letters 
shall come, greeting in the Lord. Know your university, that we, fully confiding in 
the fidelity, circumspection, and industry of our beloved and faithful Robert Maxwelle 
of Caldarwodde, knight, our cousin, and Master Robert Lanyne, provost of St. Andrews, 
Licentiate in Decreets, have made, constituted, and ordained, and by these presents do 
make, constitute, and ordain them, alike of our sure knowledge and deliberate counsel, 
our ambassadors, commissioners, and special messengers, giving and granting to them 
our full power and special mandate to treat, agree, and conclude with the most serene 
Prince, Henry, King of England, or his commissioners whomsoever having sufficient 
power from him, concerning the liberation of our dearest son, Murdach Stewart, knight, 
and to do, transact, agree, conclude, and explain all and sundry things which may be 
necessary or in any way serviceable to the liberation of our son, even if they should 
require a more special mandate ; promising that we shall perpetually hold valid, 
concluded, stable, and sure, whatever our said commissioners in the premises, or any of 
the premises, shall think meet to do. Given under the testimony of our Seal at our 

1 Eymer's Fcedera, vol. ix. p. 48. 

- Ibid. p. 125. 


Manor of Falkland, the 26th day of the month of May, in the year of our Lord 
1414, and of our government the ninth year. 1 

At the same time, a similar safe-conduct was procured for John Porter, 
squire, one of the retainers of the Duke of Albany, to proceed to where Sir 
Murdach was for the transaction of some affairs.' 2 King James and Sir 
Murdach were at this time entertained together at the Court of King Henry 
the Fifth, and at his expense, the cost of their maintenance, along with 
some others, being twenty shillings a day. 3 

This embassy secured no better results than any of the former, but in 
the following year, 1415, an arrangement was made by which Sir Murdach's 
freedom was obtained. Since the year 1403, Henry Percy, the grandson of 
the then Earl of Northumberland, had been an exile, but had found an 
honourable refuge in Scotland at the Court of King Eobert the Third, and 
after his death at the Court of the Duke of Albany. King Henry the Fourth 
was now dead, and the young Earl of Northumberland was regarded with less 
disfavour by his son, King Henry the Fifth, who was not unwilling to see his 
return and restoration to his important earldom. But when this was moved, 
the Duke of Albany refused to gratify the King of England so easily, and 
detained Percy until an arrangement was made whereby he could be 
exchanged for Sir Murdach Stewart. 4 On 12th May 1415, King Henry 
granted safe-conducts to a number of Scotch nobility, Eobert Stewart, son 
and heir of Murdach of Fife ; George Dunbar, son and heir of the Earl of 
March ; William Graham, Lord of Graham [Kincardine] ; John Stewart, Earl 
of Buchan ; John Stewart, Lord of Innermeath ; Eobert Maxwell, Lord of 
Calderwood ; and Andrew Hawyll [Hawyck], parson of Lyston. These were 
to pass to a place called Calfhill, near Berwick, bringing with them Henry 

1 Original in Cottonian Library, British Museum. 

2 Kymer's Fcedera, vol. ix. p. 125. 3 Ibid. p. 1S9. 4 Ibid. p. 242. 


Percy, son and heir of the late Sir Henry Percy, and having delivered him 
to the commissioners of the King of England, they were to receive Sir 
Murdach Stewart, and return with him to their own country. 1 

In pursuance of this agreement, King Henry issued an order on the 24th 
of May to the constable of the Tower of London, to deliver Sir Murdach 
Stewart into the care of two of the King's esquires, John Hull and William 
Chancellor, who were appointed to conduct him to the Borders. 2 Instructions 
were given to them as to their duties at the several stages of their journey. 
These instructions, along with relative letters to Sir Eobert Umfraville, 
the Sheriff of Newcastle, the keeper of Warkworth Castle, and others, have 
been preserved. They are written in French, and translations are here 

The instruction given to John Hulle and William Chanceller, esquires, appointed 
by the King, our sovereign Lord, to conduct Morduk of Fife to northern parts, and 
there to make deliverance of him under certain manner and form as follows : — 

First, the said esquires ought to conduct safely the said Morduk to the town of 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and on arriving there they ought to present to the Mayor and 
Sheriff of the said town the letters of the King, our said sovereign Lord, addressed to 
them under the privy seal, in order that the said Mayor and Sheriff may be in waiting 
on the foresaid esquires, to safely conduct and convey the said Morduk to the castle 
of Werkworthe, and to bring him back if need be at the expense of the King. 

Likewise, the said esquires should also deliver other similar letters to the Sheriff 
of Northumberland, that he may attend them in the same manner. 

Again, whenever the said Morduk has come to the above-mentioned castle of 
Werkworth, the said esquires ought to deliver to the constable of the said castle other 
letters under the privy seal, directed to the said constable, to receive the said Morduk, 
and to assign him a competent place within the said castle, where he can be quite 
honourably and safely kept, until such time as he can be safely conveyed to Berwick, 

1 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. ix. p. 244. 

- Ibid. p. 250. 


when the said esquires are assured of the coming of Henry of Percy, grandson to 
the late Earl of Northumberland, out of Scotland towards the forenamed castle of 

Also, the said esquires ought to make delivery to the keeper of the castle of 
Berwick, or his lieutenant there, other letters under the privy seal, directed to him for 
honourably receiving the aforesaid Morduk of Fyfe into the said castle of Berwick, and 
assigning him a place within the same castle, where the said Morduk can be honourably 
and surely guarded. 

Also, afterwards, in case that the foresaid Henry has come to Berwick for his own 
liberation as well as that of the fore-mentioned Morduk, if the said esquires can be 
loyally informed by Sir Kobert Umfraville and Sir John Wytherington, or other notable 
persons who have good knowledge of the person of this same Henry while he dwelt 
there, and if the same esquires have security of the said Henry in presence of the said 
knights or other notable persons, that this same Henry is willing to hold, do, and loyally 
perform, without fraud or dissimulation, all that the foresaid Bobert and John have 
promised to our said Lord the King on the part of the said Henry, then the said 
esquires may deliver the said Morduk to those of Scotland who shall come thither to 
bring there the said Henry, and to receive deliverance of the said Morduk. And upon 
this the said esquires ought to signify to the said Henry that it is the King's will that 
lie prepare to come to his presence as quickly as possible. 

In whicli case the King our said Lord wills that the said esquires be entirely 
discharged towards him of the foresaid Morduk and of the said Henry. 

Likewise, in case the said Henry be not brought thither as above, as the Scots may 
not be willing to allow him to be delivered up, then the said esquires can keep the 
foresaid Morduk there until the first day of July next coming, and for one or two days 
after if it seem good to them to await the arrival of the said Henry. They shall not 
suffer any strangers to talk with the said Morduk unless in their presence, or in the 
presence of one of them. 

In case of the non-arrival of this same Henry, the said esquires ought to conduct 
the said Morduk back to the Tower of London, or elsewhere, at the will of the 


In testimony of which thing, to this present instruction our said sovereign Lord the 
King has caused put his Great and Privy Seals, and also his signet. Given at West- 
minster, the 21st day of May, the third year of the reign of our said sovereign Lord 
the King. 

By the commandment of the King at Westminster, the day and year above 
mentioned. Present there, the Earl of Dorset. 

Indorsed : Instruction concerning the liberation of Mordac, Earl of Fyffe. 1 

Dear and well beloved, — Inasmuch as we have ordained and charged our 
beloved esquires, John Hulle and William Chanceller, to conduct Morduk of Fiffe, our 
prisoner, to our castle of Werkworth, for certain causes moving us thereto, we will, and 
straitly command you in express terms, that ye attend on our said esquires safely to 
convey and conduct the said Morduk to our forenamed castle, and in safely conveying 
him back again, if need be, according to the information of our foresaid esquires. And 
this by no means omit, etc. Given, etc. 

To our dear and well beloved the Mayor and Sheriff of our town of Newcastle- 

Similar letters, dated 2 2d May, were sent to the Sheriff of Northumber- 
land, Sir John Bartram, knight, Sir Walter Fauconberge, knight, Sir John 
Wodryngtone, knight, and to P^obert Harbottell, a squire. 

Dear and well beloved, — We straitly command you in express terms that you 
receive on our behalf Morduk of Fiffe, whom our loved esquires, John Hulle and 
William Chaunceller, at our commandment will conduct to your presence, for certain 
causes moving us thereto, and assign him any competent place in our castle of Werk- 
worth, where he can be quite honourably and safely kept for the time which our said 
esquires on our behalf shall declare to you. And this by no means omit, as we rely 
upon you. Given, etc. 

To our dear and well beloved the constable of our castle of AVerkworth. 2 

1 Original in Cottouian Library, British Museum. 2 Hid. 

VOL. I. 2 I 


On the part of the King. 
Beloved and Trusty, — As we have ordained and charged our beloved esquires, 
John Hulle and William Chanceller, to conduct Morduk of Fyf, our prisoner, to our 
castle of Berwick-upon-Tweed, for certain causes moving us thereto, we will, and 
straitly command you in express terms, that you attend on our said esquires, safely to 
convey and conduct the said Morduk out of the castle of Werkworth, as far as our 
said castle of Berwick, and for safely conveying him back again, if need be, according to 
the information of our foresaid esquires ; understanding we have written in like manner 
to our dear and trusty knight, John Wydryngtone, on the foresaid business. And this 
in no wise ye leave undone. Given, etc. [third year of Henry the Fifth, 21st May.] 

To our dear and trusty knight, Bobert Umfraville. 1 

A similar letter was addressed to Sir John Wydryngtone, and an order 
was also sent to the keeper of the Castle of Berwick, containing instructions 
for Sir Murdach's honourable confinement similar to those given to the 
constable of Warkworth. 

It was not intended, however, that a pure and simple exchange of persons 
shovdd be made. The King of England put a ransom of ten thousand pounds 
upon the head of Sir Murdach Stewart ; but instead of exacting the money from 
the Duke of Albany, he made it a condition of Percy's return that he should 
pay that sum, leaving him to arrange its recovery from Sir Murdach as he best 
could. The following instructions to the Earl of Westmoreland disclose this 
arrangement. They are also in French, but only a translation is here given : — 

The Instruction given to Balph, Earl of Westmoreland, appointed by our Sovereign 
Lord the King to conduct Morduke of Fyffe, eldest son of the Duke of Albany, from 
the castle of [Warkworth] to the castle of Berwick, and there to make deliverance of 
the said Morduke, in form and manner underwritten. 

First, the said Earl shall consider by what way, and how soon he can, conduct or 
send the foresaid Morduke to the said place of Berwick. Tf it seem expedient to him, 
1 Original in Cottonian Library, British Museum. 


the said Earl ought to send letters of the King our Sovereign Lord, addressed to the 
Mayor and Sheriff of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, to attend on the said Earl, or on those -whom 
he shall send to conduct the said Morduke to the place of Berwick above mentioned. 

Likewise, if it seem expedient to the said Earl, he ought to send other letters of 
the King our Sovereign Lord, addressed respectively to the Sheriff of Northumberland, 
Sir John Bertram, Sir Walter Fauconberge, Sir John of Wodryngtone, and to Robert 
Harbotil, esquire, to wait upon the said Earl, or those whom he will appoint to 
conduct the said Morduke, in the manner as to which the said Earl shall instruct them. 

But before the said Earl causes the said Morduke to be sent nearer the said place 
of Berwick than the castle of Werkworth or the castle of Bamberghe, as shall seem best 
to the said Earl, he ought to be certified by the Lord of Grey, keeper of the castle 
and town of Berwick, that Henry of Percy, grandson of the late Earl of Northumber- 
land, has arrived at the said castle of Berwick or its vicinity ; that he is to do and 
accomplish all that Sir Robert Umfraville, Sir John Wodryngtone, and John Burtoue, 
clerk, have promised to our Lord the King, for and in name of the foresaid Henry of 
Percy ; and when that same Earl of Westmoreland shall be certified that the said 
Henry of Percy has thus arrived at the said castle of Berwick or its vicinity, he ought 
to conduct or send thither the foresaid Blorduke, information also being first had by 
means of the foresaid Sir Robert Umfraville and Sir John Wodryngtone, and other 
knights and notable esquires who have knowledge of the person of the foresaid Henry 
of Percy, that he is there personally, in good condition ; and the oath of that Henry of 
Percy being taken in presence of the said Earl of Westmoreland, if lie shall be there, 
or in the presence of those whom he shall send with the said Morduke, as well as in 
the presence of the said Lord of Grey, keeper of Berwick, of the foresaid Sirs Robert 
Umfraville and John of Wodryngtone, and other esquires who shall be there for the 
time, that the said Henry of Percy will do and entirely fulfil all and whatever the said 
Robert Unifraville, John Wodryngtone, and John Burton have or any of them has 
promised to our said Lord the King, for and in name of the said Henry of Percy, 
and in special, that after the foresaid Moreduke of Fyffe shall be delivered at the 
said place of Berwick, the said Henry of Percy in all haste possible, transport him- 
self to the presence of our said Lord the King, in whatever place he shall be, 

252 SIM MUMD ACE'S RANSOM £10,000. 

[•st^as soon as the said Henry can come to the presence of the Chancellor of 
England/ftra*— JJenry by the judgment of the King's Council shall make him 
sure of ten thousand jJoTniiis-iJMthe ransom of the said Morduke, to pay in the 
manner he prefers ; that is to say7"TnTCb-«£^all the lands, tenements, and other 
possessions of the said Henry, which he has at pr&3eWr--stfulwill have in time to 
come, our said Lord the King shall have and take two thousan3^p«inds yearly, 
until the foresaid sum of ten thousand pounds shall be fully paid to him— vaSa*-] 
and that upon the form and tenor of the said oath, the said Henry of Percy makes 
under his seal letters testimonial, to which also all the lords and knights who shall be 
present when the said oath shall be made shall cause put their seals, and such letters 
in due form, made and sealed and delivered to the said Earl of Westmoreland, or to 
those whom he shall send with the said Morduke ; and besides this, in any place on 
this side of the water of Tweed within the kingdom of England, recognisance be taken 
of the said Henry of Percy, for the payment of ten thousand pounds to our Sovereign 
Lord the King, at the feast of St. Michael next coming, upon condition that if before 
the 1st day of September next, the said Henry of Percy grant security to our said 
Lord the King of two thousand pounds of land or of rent within the kingdom of England, 
to be held by our said Lord the King or his assignees, until to the satisfaction of our 
said Lord the King ten thousand pounds be raised and fully paid for the ransom of the 
foresaid Morduke, according to the form and tenor of his schedule hereto annexed, 
the said Morduke shall be delivered to the foresaid Henry of Percy. 

Likewise, if before the 8th day of July the foresaid Earl of Westmoreland be not 
certified by the foresaid Lord of Grey that the before-named Henry of Percy has 
arrived at the castle of Berwick, in manner as above, then that Earl ought to conduct 
the fore-mentioned Morduke back to such place as the King our Lord shall cause to be 
assigned for the said Morduke's being kept until our said Lord the King as to this 
shall have ordained otherwise. 

In witness, etc., given, etc., the 18th day of June, the third year, etc. 
By commandment of the King. 1 

Indorsed : 18th June, anno 3, Henry 4, 1402. 2 
1 Original in Cottonian Library, British Museum. 2 Should be Henry 5, 1415. 


Sir Murdach Stewart was despatched to the north in the care of his two 
guardians, and on the way made his escape, but was recaptured by Ralph 
Pudsay, who for this service was rewarded by Henry on 25th June with an 
annual pension for life of twenty pounds from the customs of the port of 
Kingston-upon-Hull. 1 

The exchange of the two prisoners was not carried out on this occasion, 
and Sir Murdach was probably located in one of the castles in the north of 
England under the charge of the Earl of "Westmoreland, until the resumption 
of the negotiations in the close of the year, which brought the matter to a 
successful conclusion. In the interval the two countries were again on the 
verge of war, but the crisis passed without any formidable conflict. On 9th 
December, King Henry the Fifth drew up a formal document, embodying 
the terms on which the exchange was to take place. Of this agreement, 
which is in Latin, a translation is here given : — 

Henry, by the grace of God, King of England and France, and Lord of Ireland, 
to all and singular who shall see the present letters, greeting in the Lord. As we have 
recently understood our dearest cousin, Kobert, Duke of Albany, and Governor of the 
kingdom of Scotland, desires Murdach his son, whom as our prisoner we hold in our 
custody, to be restored safe and sound and free, in return for whose liberation he offers 
to restore to us our cousin Henry, grandson of the late Earl of Northumberland, whom 
now for a long time he has detained, as he at present detains him in his power, we, 
by the tenor of these presents, promise, in good faith and on the word of a king, 
our full assent to the said liberation and restoration mutually to be made, that if the 
foresaid Duke of Albany, at a certain day and place to be assigned by our commissioners 
and those of the said Duke, shall cause the said Henry our cousin to be brought safe 
and sound, free and discharged from every obligation, article, and cause on account of 
which . . . might be arrested, or otherwise his restoration to us impeded, or if he shall 
really restore or cause to be restored the said Henry to us or our commissioners, we, at 
1 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. ix. p. 2S0. 


the same day and place, shall cause the foresaid Murdach to be brought, and in like 
manner shall cause him to be restored to the said Duke his father, or his commissioners, 
safe, free, and discharged from every obligation, article, and cause on account of which 
his restoration to him might be hindered, fraud and guile of whatever sort being laid 
aside. In testimony of which thing we have caused these letters-patent to be made. 
Given at our Palace of Westminster, the 9 th day of December 1415, and of our reign 
the third year. 1 

Indorsed ; Instructions as to the liberation of Murdac of Fife, eldest son of the 
Duke of Albany, and the restoration of Henry Percy by way of exchange. 

No mention is made in this document of the money ransom demanded 
by the English King and Parliament for the release of Sir Murdach, but 
it is referred to in the private instructions given on the following day 
to those intrusted with the negotiation of the business. These instructions 
are written in French. A translation is here given : — 

Instruction given to Sir Ealph de Yuer, Sir William [Clayton ?], Master John 
Hunteindun, doctor in theology and Dean of Lancaster, and Master Richard Holme, 
Licentiate in Laws, Canon of York, to them four, three or two of them, commissioners 
and deputies of the King our Sovereign Lord, to commune, treat, and agree with certain 
ambassadors and messengers of Eobert, Duke of Albany, Governor of Scotland, of and 
upon the liberation and exchange of Morduke of Fiff, eldest son of the said Duke, being 
at present in the ward of the King our said Lord, as a safe prisoner, and of Henry of 
Percy, grandson to the late Earl of Northumberland, now in the ward of the said Duke. 

First, the said commissioners of the King ought to induce the ambassadors of the 
said Duke, and arrange and accord with them, if they can, and by mutual agreement 
among them, to fix that on a certain day before the fifteenth of March next, the said 
Duke of Albany shall send the foresaid Henry of Percy to the town of Carlisle, and 
if the said ambassadors are willing to agree to this, then ought the said commissioners 
to arrange and agree with them that the King our said Lord shall send the foresaid 

1 Original in Cottonian Library, British Museum. 


Morduke to the said place of Carlisle, to be there delivered by way of exchange for the 
foresaid Henry ; and to accomplish such arrangement and agreement, the said Earl of 
Westmoreland shall send the foresaid Morduke by his son, John of Neville, Warden 
of the West Marches. 

And in case the ambassadors of the said Duke are unwilling to agree that the 
foresaid Henry should be thus sent to the said place of Carlisle, unless other surety be 
given for the deliverance of the said Morduke, then ought the said commissioners to 
arrange and agree that the King our said Lord (his letters under his Great Seal, of the 
tenor as follows : — Henry, etc., having been seen) shall cause them to be sent to the 
Earl of March of Scotland, or other Earl or person of rank of Scotland, who shall b3 
appointed to have the charge until the foresaid exchange be effected. 

And if the ambassadors of the said Duke are altogether unwilling to agree that the 
foresaid Henry should be thus sent to the said place of Carlisle, then ought the said 
commissioners of the King to arrange and agree that the said letters of the King shall 
be sent to the said Earl of March, or other Earl or person of rank of Scotland, to keep 
them as above ; and in case the said ambassadors themselves wish to arrange and agree 
that the said Duke, on a day to be fixed, shall send as above the foresaid Henry into 
the castle of Berwick, there to be restored to the said commissioners by way of exchange 
for the said Morduke, the said commissioners ought in this case likewise to yield ; and 
if such arrangement is adopted, then the foresaid Earl of Westmoreland ought to send 
the foresaid Morduke to the town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and deliver him there to the 
Lord of Grey, Warden of the East Marches, in order that the said Morduke may be 
conducted to the foresaid place of Berwick, to be there exchanged in manner as above. 

In testimony, etc. Given, etc., the 10th day of December, the third year, etc. 
[Henry 5]. 

Instruction, etc., given to the above mentioned. 
First, although the King our Lord caused to be made, the day of the making of 
these, another instruction to his said commissioners, containing three articles concerning 
the foresaid liberation and interchange in one of the three ways, yet our said Lord the 
King wills that if the said commissioners cannot induce the ambassadors of the said 
Duke to agree to any of these three ways, the said commissioners ought to agree and 


arrange with the said ambassadors that, on a day before the fifteenth day of March, to 
be fixed between them by mutual consent, our said Lord the King shall cause the 
foresaid Morduke to be sent, accompanied by two thousand horsemen, or other greater 
number, to the town of Berwick or other place upon the Marches of Scotland, which 
shall be assigned and agreed upon by the said commissioners and ambassadors, to be 
there delivered up to the said Duke or his commissioners and deputies, by way of 
exchange for the said Henry. Moreover, that the said ambassadors shall arrange and 
agree with the said commissioners that the foresaid Duke shall similarly send the 
foresaid Henry to be restored to our said Lord the King or to his commissioners ; 
and in this case the said Earl ought to deliver the said Morduke, in the town of 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, to the Lord of Grey, Warden of the East Marches, who ought 
to accompany Ralph, son of the said Earl, and the Lord of Clifford, to conduct the 
said Morduke to the place where the exchange is to be made. 

Further, before the said commissioners cause such arrangement to be closed, they 
ought to receive, by some messenger from the said Henry, an obligation written in his 
own hand, for twenty thousand marks, by which he will be bound to pay the said sum 
to our said Lord the King on the sixteenth day of March next, in case that before that 
day, in any place on this side the Water of Tweed within the kingdom of England, the 
said Henry does not make, in presence of any person having power to receive this recog- 
nisance of ten thousand pounds, to be paid to our said Lord the King the 1st day of 
April next, upon condition that if before the said first day the said Henry make security 
to our said Lord the King of two thousand pounds 1 . . . [The remainder is wanting.] 

On the 11th December King Henry granted his commission to the four 
persons named in the foregoing instructions, and at the same time empowered 
Kichard, Lord of Grey, Warden of the East Marches, and John Neville, 
Warden of the West Marches, to facilitate the exchange by granting the 
necessary safe-conducts to both parties. 2 

The release of Sir Murdach probably took place shortly after this date, but 
there is no information as to how it was effected. About a year afterwards, 
1 Original in Cottonian Library, British Museum. 2 Kotuli Scotise, vol. ii. p. 215. 


on 24th November 1416, the Wardens of the Marches were again instructed 
to furnish safe-conducts to certain persons coming from Scotland with the 
redemption money of Sir Murdach, 1 but the amount is not stated. It is pro- 
bable that a portion of the ten thousand pounds was meant to reimburse the 
King of England for the expenses of Sir Murdach's maintenance while with him, 
and also that a considerable sum would be deducted by Henry Percy, now 
Earl of Northumberland, on account of his long sojourn at the Scottish Court. 

After his return to Scotland, Sir Murdach Stewart assisted his father in 
the government of the country, as Albany, now between seventy and eighty 
years of age, to lighten his own labours, appointed him his lieutenant. In 
that capacity he was present with his father at Dunfermline on 23d March 
1420, at the receiving of William of Maisterton as a vassal of the monastery 
of Dunfermline. 2 

Sir Murdach seems also from an early period to have occasionally trans- 
acted business on the family estates, granting and confirming charters of lands 
as the son and heir-apparent of his father. An instance of this occurs in his 
confirmation of a charter granted by his father to Sir Robert Stewart of 
Schanbothy, of the lands of Craggy Gerpot and others, in Leuchars in Fife- 
shire. The charter begins thus : — 

Omnibus hano cartam visuris uel audituris, Murdacus Senescalli, primogenitus 
et heres inclitissimi et potentissimi viri, domini Roberti Senescalli, Comitis de Fytt' 
et de Meneteth, eternam in Domino salutem : Sciatis nos vidisse, audiuisse, ac maturo 
et diligenti intelleetu concessisse quandam cartam dicti domini genitoris nostri, formam 
que sequitur continentem : 

Omnibus hanc cartam visuris vel audituris, Robertus Senescalli, comes de Fyff et 
de Meneteth, salutem, etc. 

Quamquidem cartam, donationemque et concessioner de terris de Craggy, Gerpot 

1 Rotuli Scotise, vol. ii. p. 218. • Registrum de Dunfermelyn, p. 282. 

VOL. I. 2 K 


cum molendino, et de tercia parte terrarum de Culbaky, Fordale et Struben, cum 
pertinentiis, in ipsa carta contentis, necnon omnes et singulas ipsas terras, cum 
pertinentiis dicto domino Eoberto, tenendas et babendas, sibi et heredibus suis, adeo 
libere, quiete, plene, pacifice et honorifice, in omnibus punctis, articulis, conditionibus, 
forma pariter et effectu prout ipsa carta continet et proportat, nos pro nobis et heredibus 
nostris volumus, concedimus ac presenti carta nostra dicto domino Eoberto Senescalli 
et heredibus suis imperpetuum confirmamus. In cuius rei testimonium sigillum nostrum 
presenti carte nostre confirmatorie est appensum, his testibus, nobilibus viris, dominis 
Patricio de Grahame, domino de Kyncardyn, Willelmo de Grahame, eius primogenito 
et herede, Bernardo de Havdein, militibus, consanguineis nostris, domino Gilberto decano 
Dunblanensi et Johanne Eollok, clericis dicti domini genitoris nostri, ac multis aliis. 1 

On the death of his father, Sir Murdach Stewart became Duke of Albany 
and Earl of Fife and Menteith. He also succeeded to the office of Governor 
of Scotland. It has been said that he assumed this office as if to carry on 
the alleged usurpation of the government by his father; but there is no 
ground for the assertion, and the evidence is all the other way. It is far more 
probable that he was placed in it by Parliament, although no record of a 
meeting of that body remains, a fact applicable to too many of the parliaments 
of this date to be a conclusive proof that none was held. 2 A charter granted 
by Duke Murdach on 26th October 1421, bearing that it was made in the first 
year of his government, shows that he was not Governor previous to 26th 
October 1420. 3 But he was Governor on 16th November 1420, as he then 

1 History of the Carnegies, Earls of South- DougaL the King's chaplain, serving in his 
esk, by William Fraser, Edinburgh, vol. ii. presence in England by command of the pre- 
p. 508. sent Lord Governor and ordinance of Parlia- 

2 Evidence is so far afforded of such a meet- ment. He seems to have received in all £21, 
ing of Parliament towards the close of the made up by the four burghs of Dundee (£6), 
year 1420 by entries in the Treasury Accounts Montrose (£4), Perth (£5), and Aberdeen (£6 ). 
for the year between 28th July 1420 and 24th —[Exchequer Polls, vol. iv. pp. 339, 346.] 
July 1421, of payments for the expenses of Sir 3 Original in Douglas Charter-chest. 


made an indenture with Sir Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar, in which the 
Duke is styled Governor of Scotland. 1 His appointment must, therefore, 
have taken place about the beginning of November 1420, almost two months 
after his father's death, which would leave sufficient time for the assembling 
of a Parliament to choose him as successor to the late Eegent. Besides, it is 
not to be expected that the nobles of Scotland would connive at any such 
usurpation, and they must have done so, if such there was, when they 
accepted charters of confirmation from his hands as Governor. But in all 
their transactions they jealously guarded the rights and privileges of King 
James, and the Governor as much as any. King James himself repeatedly 
confirmed charters which had been granted by both the Governors during his 
captivity, which of itself shows that there had been no usurpation by either. 
It may therefore be concluded that Duke Murdach was duly elected successor 
in the office of Governor of the realm, after the three Estates had anew declared 
their allegiance to King James, their rightful sovereign, who was still detained 
in England against his own and their will, and that his exercise of the office 
was perfectly legitimate. King James at this time, however, was in France 
with the King of England, for Sir William Douglas of Drumlanrig obtained 
a safe-conduct to proceed to him there, in the month of September 1420, 2 and 
by him he would probably be informed of what had taken place. 

Duke Murdach, by the death of his father, also became keeper of Stirling- 
Castle, an office granted to Duke Eobert for himself and his heirs, and for 
this received the annual fee of £133, 6s. 8d. 3 He was likewise heir to the 
hereditary pension obtained by his father from the lands of the Abthaneiy 
of Dull, amounting to £136 yearly, and to his father's pension of two hundred 
marks, for homage and service, and special retinue to David, Duke of 
Eothesay, which, with his own pension of one hundred marks for a similar 
1 Page 261, postea. 2 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. x. p. 19. 3 Chamberlain Rolls, vol. iii. p. 117. 


service and retinue, increased his annual pension for this to three hundred 
marks. In addition to these payments, he had £1000 as fee for the office 
of Governor; and in the account rendered by the Exchequer Auditors 
on 24th July 1421, a surplus of £458, 7s. 3d. is paid Duke Murdach on 
account of expenses incurred in previous years, while the Lords Auditors 
admit as further due to him the large sum of £3152, 15s. Sid. 1 

Very little has hitherto been known of the history of Murdach, Duke of 
Albany, especially during his period of governorship. It will, therefore, 
be interesting to note any documents or records which throw light upon the 
exercise of his office. The opinion of the contemporary historian, Bower, 
is that he was far too remiss in the management of affairs, and also in the 
control of his sons, who, he adds, were exceedingly insolent, and often acted 
in violation of the laws. 2 

Shortly after his elevation to the office of Governor of Scotland, Duke 
Murdach, on the 16th of November 1420, at Perth, entered into an agreement 
with Sir Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar and Garioch, whereby the latter 
and his son, Sir Thomas Stewart, swore special fealty and retinue to the Duke 
during the remainder of his life, their allegiance to their Lord the King only 
excepted. The Governor thereby granted to the Earl of Mar half the profits 
of the justiciaries of Aberdeen, Banff, and Inverness, with certain exceptions, 
while the Earl was to secure that the justice-courts should be held to the 
honour of the Governor and profit of both ; the Governor also promised to 
confirm the infeftment of the lands of Mar and Garioch, which the Earl of 
Mar was preparing for his son Sir Thomas, provided that the Earl of Mar 
showed a confirmation of our Lord the King to our Lord the Governor, 
given to him and his heirs and assignees, of the lands of Mar and Garioch 
foresaid. Another part of the agreement was that the Governor should be 

1 Chamberlain Rolls, vol. iii. p. 118. 2 Fordun, a Gooilall, vol. ii. p. 467. 



"■ steadhaldand " to the Earl of Mar, and should give him assistance in the 
same manner as the late Governor; and that he would not permit his 
eldest son, Sir Walter Stewart, to marry the daughter of Sir Eobert Erskine 
without obtaining the Earl of Mar's consent. The instrument is somewhat 
important, and may be here given in full : — 

This indenture, made at Perth the xvi day of the mounth of November, in the yeir 
of our Lord a thousand four hundereth and twentie, betwix [ane] excellent and mightie 
prince, Murtheu, Dvck of Albaney, Earll of Fife and Menteith and Governour of Scot- 
land, on the ane pairt, and a vorschipful Lord, Schir Alexander Stewart, Earll of Marr 
and Garviach, on the tothir pairt, contenis and beris vitnes that it is fullelie accordit 
betwix thame, in forme and maner as efter sal follow, and that is to say, that the 
forsaid Earll of Mar is becum man of sp[eciale feale] and reteneu till the forsaid Dvck 
of Albaney, Governour of Scotland, for all the terme of his lyfle, befor and aganis all 
uthiris deidlyk personis, his alleagence aucht till our Lord the King allenerlie outane, 
and he salle gifle his letter therupone till our forsaid Lord the Governour in deu forme 
under his seille, for certane gude dedis done till him be our said Lord the Governour. 
Alsua it is accordit that our said Lord the Governour sail gife to his darrest cousin 
forsaid, the Earll . of Mar, the [tane] halfe of the profittis of the justry of Aberdeine, 
Bamffe, and Inuernesse, and als oft as thay be haldane, outtane the cornis and victualis 
of men and horse in the balding of the said ayeris, and the said Earll of Mar sail doe 
all his bisness and diligence till bring justris till the honour and profit of the said 
Lord the Governour for beath ther profit. Alsua our Lord the Governour sail gif hes 
letteris patentis till the said Earll of Mar of power to be steadhaldand till him, efter 
the tennor of the letters, the quhilks the said Earl hede of umquhilum our Lord the 
Governour, whom God assoyle. Alsua the forsaid Lord the Governour is assentit and 
sail gife his confirmatione till his cusin, Schir Thomas Stewart, upon the infeftment 
that the said Earll of Mar makis till the said Schir Thomas hes sone apone the landis 
of Mar and Garveach, if it sa beies that the said Earll of Mar shaues a confirmatione 
of our Lord the King till our Lord the Governour, givin till him and hes heiris and 
assignais apone the landis of Mar and Garviach forsaids ; for the quhilk confirmatione 


til be gevin til the said Schir Thomas throch our Lord the Governour that now is, 
and for utber gude dedis done of befortyme till the said Schir Thomas throch our said 
Lord the Governour, the said Schir Thomas is becum mane till our said Lord the 
Governour of sp[ecial feale] and reteneu for all the tyme of his lyffe befor and agains 
all uther deidlyk personis, hes alleagence aught til our Lord the King allanerlie outane, 
and tharupon sail gife his letters of retenewe in due forme til our Lord the Governour. 
Alsua it is accordit that our Lord the Governour sail giff hes lettres, baunde, and seille 
till his forsaid cusin, the Earll of Mar, of mantinance, helpe, and suppleie, in [deu] 
forme and in effect as quhilum our Lord the Governour hes fader did [of] befortyme, 
bot fraude or gyle. Alsua it is accordit betwix the forsaid Lord the Governour and hes 
darrest cusin the Earll of Mar, that sen Valter Steuart, the sone and ayire appirand 
of our forsaid Lord the Governour, is oblisched till the forsaid Lord his fader that he 
sail not tak in mariage the dochter of Schir Robert Erskeine vithout the consent of 
hes forsaid Lord and fader, our forsaid Lord the Governour is oblischeid and oblischis 
him be this indenture till hes said cusin the Earll of Blar, that he sail noeht gife hes 
consent till the fulfillan of the said mariage, vithout vittining and consent of the said 
Earll of Mar. And alsua it is accordit that our said Lord the Governour hes gevin to 
hes forsaid cusin the Earll of Mar, the profitis cumand of the landis of Badenach, Urquart, 
and Strathowne, ay till the tyme that thay may be sett to profitt, and fra thensfurth our 
forsaid Lord till haue the tane halfe of the profit cumand of the saidis landis, and the 
forsaid Erl his cusin the tother haltfe of the profitt of the [saidis] landis endurand the 
tyme of the said Earllis lyve. And alsua the said Earll is oblischit and oblissis him be 
this indenture, that he sal doe al his gudlie bisnes and diligens to bring and sett the 
saidis landis of Badenacht, Urquart, and Strathowen, vith the pertinentis, till the maist 
profitt that he may, and vithin als schort tyme as he may, bot fraud or gyle. In the 
vitnising of the quhilkis thingis, leillie and trewlie for to be keipit, bot fraud and gyle, 
the seillis of the forsaid Lord the Governour, and of the forsaid Earll of Mar hes cusin 
to thir indenturis interchangabillie ar to put, the day, yeir, and place forsaidis. 1 

As the permanent restoration of King James to his kingdom and crown 
1 Antiquities of Aberdeenshire, vol. iv. p. 18.1. 


seemed still far from being accomplished, an attempt was made in this year, 
1421, to procure his temporary release, to enable him to pay a visit to 
Scotland. The documents which reveal the transaction do not inform us 
that it was in the least a national concern, but lead us to infer that it was 
a private endeavour on the part of the Earl of Douglas. The incident as 
gathered from the documents stands thus : — 

Archibald, Earl of Douglas, in the beginning of the year 1421, proceeded 
to London and had an interview with King James, to whom he proposed that 
if he wished to pay a visit to Scotland, he would offer his services to the King 
of England in return for his permission. He prevailed upon King James to 
consent to this proposal, and also to give him his authority for the transaction, 
whereupon the Earl of Douglas entered into an engagement with King 
Henry the Fifth, on 30th May 1421, at London, to assist him against all 
his enemies, his Lord King James and his successors alone excepted, as long 
as he lived, with two hundred knights and esquires, and two hundred 
mounted archers, all sufficiently provided for war, wherever the King of 
England wished, either by land or sea. 1 

This agreement was followed the day after by the preparation of another 
between the two kings, by which King James was to be granted three months 
to go to Scotland and return again, on condition of no less than twenty 
persons, and some of these the most influential in Scotland, consenting to 
remain as hostages for him. These were — Walter Stewart Earl of Athole, 
Walter Stewart eldest son and heir of Duke Murdach the Governor, Thomas 
Earl of Moray, William Earl of Angus, Alexander Earl of Crawford, 
and William Earl of Orkney; also the following bishops — Henry bishop 
of St. Andrews, William bishop of Glasgow, Eobert bishop of Dunkeld, and 
Henry bishop of Moray ; and in addition to these, James Douglas second 
1 Rymer's Foedera, vol. x. p. 123. 


sou of the Earl of Douglas, Bobert Lord of Erskine, William Hay Lord of 
Errol Constable of Scotland, Eobert Stewart Lord of Lorn, James Sandilands 
Lord of Caldor, Malcolm Fleming Lord of Biggar and of the Leynze, James 
Hamilton Lord of Cadzow, Thomas Boyd Lord of Kilmornow, Bobert Keith 
Mareschal of Scotland, and William Borthwick Lord of Borthwick. 1 It is 
hardly surprising, in view of depriving Scotland of so many of her foremost 
statesmen, including the Chancellor, Constable, and Mareschal, that this 
agreement was not carried out, and that King James still remained in 
England. In the close of this year, on 4th December 1421, a safe-conduct 
was granted for the conveyance of some horses from Scotland into England 
for King James's use. 2 

On the 4th of January 1422 the Governor was at Lindores, where, on 
that date, he confirmed a charter of sale and alienation, granted by William, 
son of John, to Patrick Ogilvy of Grandoun, son and heir of Alexander 
Ogilvy of Vchterhous, Sheriff of Forfar, of the fourth part of all the lands of 
Inchedrewir, Culpoty, and Culbrynny, in Banffshire, to be held of the King 
and his successors. From Lindores the Governor went to Stirling, where, on 
the 7th, he granted a precept for a charter of regrant under the great seal to 
William, Lord of Graham, and on the following day the charter was granted 
under the Governor's great seal of office. 3 On the 21st he granted another 
charter of regrant, also at Stirling, to James of Dunbar, of the lands of 
Frendraught and others, which James Dunbar had resigned in the Governor's 
hands. 4 In these charters he is particularly careful of King James's rights. 

At Stirling, on 30th November 1422, Duke Murdach granted a charter 
to John Ker, burgess of Lanark, of the lands called Wafralandis, and it is 

1 Bymer's Fcedera, vol. x. p. 125. 2 Ibid. p. 158. 

3 Appendix to Third Report by the Commissioners on Historical mss., p. 39S. 

'• Antiquities of Aberdeenshire, vol. iii. p. 5S7. 



impossible not to see in some of the clauses of this charter, as in all the 
rest, the entire absence of any spirit of usurpation in the Governor. The 
reddendo clause is as follows : — 

Faciendo domino nostro regi et heredibus suis dictus Johannes et heredes sui pro 
dictis terris cum pertinenciis pisturam Wafrarum dicti domini nostri regis quociens 
ipsum dominum regem apud Lanark contigerit residere ; 

i.e. the said John and his heirs, for the said lands with pertinents, to perform 
for our Lord the King and his heirs the baking of our Lord the King's wafers 
as often as he shall happen to reside at Lanark. The witnesses' names are 
"William bishop of Glasgow, Chancellor of Scotland, Alexander Stewart of 
Kinclevin the Eegent's son, Archibald of Cunningham Sheriff of Stirling, 
Alan of Otterburn Secretary to the Eegent, and others. 1 

In a precept of sasine granted by the Duke while at his castle of Falkland, 
on 28th August 1423, for the infeftment of Henry of Eamsay, son and heir 
of Alexander of Eamsay of Colluthy, in the lands of Leuchars, there occur 
the names of the following witnesses : — Alexander Stewart, our beloved son, 
James of Douglas of Balveny, our beloved brother, John de Corntoune, rector 
of the church of Eglishame, John of Lumsden, our Sheriff of Fife, John of 
Wright, our Constable of Falkland, and Alan of Otterburn, our Secretary. 2 

Another charter granted by the Duke at Perth, on the 16th October of 

1 Appendix to Fifth Report of Historical 
mss. Commissioners, p. 633. 

2 History of the Carnegies, Earls of South- 
esk, by William Fraser, Edinburgh, vol. ii. 
p. 510. John Wright was Constable of Falk- 
land when the Duke of Rothesay died there, 
and was accused of being concerned in his 
death. But the fact that he continued to 
hold his office of Constable of Falkland for 
VOL. I. 

upwards of twenty years afterwards, affords 
evidence that he was innocent of the crime 
popularly laid to his charge. In 1412 aud 
succeeding years he was one of the custumars 
of Kinghorn, a small trading port on the 
Fifeshire coast, and he also had a son who, 
between May and November 1413, was 
appointed Master of the Hospital of St. 
Laurence, near Haddington. — [Exchequer 
Rolls, voL iv. pp. 134, 1S2, 198, etc.] 

2 L 


this same year, 1423, marks more strongly still the absence of jealousies as to 
the rule of the Besent Murdach. This charter was granted to the Governor's 
" beloved cousin, Sir Alexander Forbes, and his dearest cousin, Elizabeth of 
Douglas, 1 whom by the grace of God Sir Alexander had married," and was a 
regrant of the barony of Forbes, which Sir Alexander had resigned in the 
hands of the Governor. Sir Alexander Forbes was a close friend of King 
James the First, and paid repeated visits to him while in England, on one 
occasion to accompany him to France. 2 Yet he resigned his lands into the 
Governor's hands, and accepted a regrant of them, to be held of the King and 
his heirs ; and the witnesses were, Henry bishop of St. Andrews, Piobert 
bishop of Dunkeld, William bishop of Dunblane, the Governor's uncle, 
Walter Earl of Athole and Caithness, his dearest brother, John, Constable 
of France Earl of Buchan and Chamberlain of Scotland, his dearest cousin, 
Alexander Earl of Mar and Garioch, Alexander Stewart his beloved son 
and Alan of Otterburn his secretary. 3 

By this time the negotiations which were to issue in the final deliver- 
ance of King James the First from his English imprisonment had been 
initiated, and matters had assumed an aspect which betokened a greater 
amount of success than formerly. King Henry the Fifth of England was 
dead ; his infant son had been crowned as King Henry the Sixth, and 
the kingdom of England placed under the regency of Humphrey, Duke of 
Gloucester. 4 King James, too, had made friends willing to expedite his 
release, by wooing and winning for his future queen a lady of the royal 
family of England, distinguished alike for beauty and accomplishments — 
Joanna Beaufort, daughter of John, Earl of Somerset. 

1 Elizabeth Douglas was the sister of 2 Antiquities of Aberdeenshire, vol. iv. 

William, Earl of Angus. — [Antiquities of p. 3S6. 3 Ibid. p. 3S7. 

Aberdeenshire, vol. iv. p. 3S8.] i Kymer's Fcedera, vol. x. p. 26S. 


The English Court now encouraged King James to the carrying on of 
negotiations for his release, and on 12th May 1423, at his request, granted 
a safe-conduct for a number of Scotch magnates to come into England about 
it. 1 He was presented on 21st May with a hundred pounds out of the English 
Treasury for his private expenses, 2 and about six weeks later, on 30th June, 
the Treasury was ordered to defray all his expenses during his absence from 
the King's palace, as well as of all his attendants. 3 The English were the 
foremost in appointing their commissioners to carry through the negotiations, 
their instructions being dated 6th July, while the commission for the Scottish 
ambassadors was only granted by Duke Murdach on the 19th of August. 
The Scottish commissioners were William bishop of Glasgow Chancellor of 
Scotland, George Earl of March, James Douglas of Balveny the Eegent's 
brother-in-law, the Abbots of the Monasteries of Cambuskenneth and 
Balmerino, Sir Patrick Dunbar of Bele, Sir Eobert Lawder of Edrington, 
Master George Borthwick Archdeacon of Glasgow, and Master Patrick 
Houston, Licentiate in Laws, Canon of Glasgow and Secretary to the 
Governor. Those on the English side were Thomas bishop of Durham, 
Philip bishop of Wygorn, Henry Earl of Northumberland, Balph Earl of 
Westmoreland, Sir Eichard Nevill Warden of the West Marches, Sir Ealph 
Cromwell, Sir Thomas Chaworth, Master John Wodham, Archdeacon of 
the Estrithing, and Eobert Waterton, Esquire. 

Several of the commissioners met at York in the month of September, 
and arranged the amount of money to be paid to the English Government 
in respect of King James's expenses while in England. Nothing was asked 
in respect of ransom, and the English Government was prepared to 
have accepted a lower sum than that agreed to by the Scots. In their 
instructions the English commissioners, were directed to give the Scottish 
1 Eymer's Fcedera, vol. x. p. 286. ! Hid. p. 290. 3 Ibid. p. 203. 



commissioners the opportunity of stating a sum which would cover the 
King's expenses ; if they were unwilling to do that, forty thousand pounds 
were to be sought, and if the Scots hesitated to give so large a sum, they were 
empowered, after negotiations, to reduce it to thirty-six thousand pounds, being 
two thousand pounds for each of the eighteen years during which King James 
had been detained by the English. 1 The sum, however, was fixed at forty 
thousand pounds, to be paid at London by instalments of ten thousand merks 
every six months. The Scottish commissioners also expressed themselves 
well satisfied with the proposed marriage of King James. 

To allow the King time to obtaiu among his kindred and subjects hostages 
of sufficient standing to insure the payment of the money, negotiations were 
postponed until the 1st of March following. In the meanwhile, however, 
the commissioners met again at London, early in December, and drew up 
the terms of the Instrument of Eelease. By the month of March the 
arrangements were completed. A truce of seven years was agreed to, 2 King 
James was to obtain his freedom and bring to Scotland as his queen the 
lady previously mentioned, who was a grand- daughter of John of Gaunt, 
Duke of Lancaster, and whose mother was Lady Katherine, niece of the late 
King Eichard the Second of England. 3 On account of his marriage with 
tins lady, King James received, as if for her dowry, a remission of ten 
thousand marks from the sum of sixty thousand due to the English Treasury. 4 
For the payment of the remaining fifty thousand marks, the four principal 
burghs of Scotland — Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee, and Aberdeen — each became 
responsible, 6 in addition to about thirty of the Scottish magnates. 6 

To the four burghs King James granted his obligation to relieve them 

1 Eymer's Fcedera, vol. x. p. 295. 

2 Ibkl. p. 328. 

3 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 474. 

4 llymer'a Foedera, vol. x. p. 322. 
6 Ibid. p. 324. 
6 Ibid. p. 327. 


of the sum for the payment of which they had become bound. 1 This he 
did while at Durham awaiting the concluding of the arrangements. On the 
28th March a commission was issued at Durham, which appointed the Earl 
of Northumberland and others to escort King James with all possible 
honour from that city out of the kingdom, 2 and he left it, accompanied 
by over three hundred of the Scottish nobility, who had previously 
obtained safe-conducts from the English Government to come to Durham 
for that purpose. 3 

King James is said to have proceeded directly to Edinburgh, with a 
short delay at Melrose on the 5th of April, for the confirmation of the 
arrangements made with England about his release. His first act on 
arriving at the capital seems to have been to arrest Sir Walter Stewart, eldest 
surviving son of Duke Murdach, with Malcolm Fleming of Cumbernauld, 
and Thomas Boyd younger of Kilmarnock. They were taken on the 13th 
May within the Castle of Edinburgh, and Sir Walter Stewart was sent in 
strict custody to the Bass, Malcolm Fleming, first to Dalkeith and then to 
St. Andrews, but Thomas Boyd was set at liberty. 4 No reason is given for 
their arrest. Shortly afterwards, on the 21st May, the King and Queen 
were crowned at Scone, in the midst of the bishops, prelates, and nobles 
of Scotland, by Henry Wardlaw, Bishop of St. Andrews, while Duke 
Murdach, as first in rank among the nobles, as well as by virtue of 
the ancient privilege of the Earls of Fife, placed the King in his regal 
chair. 5 On this occasion, along with a number of others, Alexander 

1 National MSS. of Scotland, vol. ii. No. 67- Hering, Constable of the Castle there, received 

- Rymer's Fcedera, vol. x. p. 332. several allowances from the custumars of 

3 Ibid. p. 309. Haddington and North Berwick towards the 

4 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 481. Sir expenses of their prisoner. — [Exchequer Rolls, 
W alter Stewart was placed in charge of Sir vol. iv. pp. 3S0, 380.] 

Robert of Lawder of the Bass, who, with John 5 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 474. 


Stewart, a younger son of Duke Murdach, received the honour of knight- 
hood from the King. 1 

A few days after his coronation, King James assembled his first Parliament 
at Perth, and before it was dissolved the people of Scotland discovered that 
although they had welcomed their .sovereign's return, it was to cost them dear. 
The noblest families in Scotland had sacrificed much to procure his release, 
and by the imposition of a system of taxation hitherto unknown in Scotland, 
the common people were to be impoverished. The first year the Auditors 
of Exchequer received and delivered to the King nearly fourteen thousand 
marks, but the second year produced a sum so much less, that the King 
abstained from burdening the people with taxes until the year 1433, when, 
on account of some heavy expenses of an embassy to France for arranging the 
marriage of his daughter with the Dauphin [afterwards Louis XI.], he imposed 
a tax of twopence in the pound universally throughout the kingdom. At 
this renewal of the grievance the commons complained against the King, 
which coming to his ears, he ordered the collectors to desist, and to restore 
to every one the amount which had been uplifted from him. 2 

In this first Parliament of King James, an Act was passed "anent 
the lands and rents which belonged in former times to the King's 
predecessors," in which instructions were given to all the King's sheriffs to 
make inquiry, by their best and worthiest bailies, as to what lands, possessions, 
or annual-rents pertained in former times to the King, or to his predecessors, 
Kings David the Second, Eobert the Second, and Kobert the Third, and in 
whose hands they now lay. Of these inquiries, the sheriffs were to furnish 
retours under their seals, and by the same Act the King was empowered 
to summon any of his tenants to show their charters and evidents. 3 

1 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 4S2. 2 Ibid. 

3 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 4. 



It would appear from the making of this Act, that the crown lands and 
rents had to a large extent passed into the hands of others, but who had 
obtained possession of them it is not easy to discover. The Dukes of 
Albany do not seem to have enriched themselves with them, nor yet to 
have bestowed them upon others, but to them the King naturally looked 
for the preservation of them. It was just that when the King discovered 
the state of matters, he should take steps to recover his own, and the 
passing of this Act was perfectly legal. But King James's temper seems to 
have been overstrained and broken by his long and weary captivity, and he 
had not patience to pursue a mild policy with his nobility, by which lie 
might have accomplished his end quite as effectually, and prolonged his 
own life. The King made many good laws, and did much to improve the 
condition of his kingdom in a social aspect, but he assumed the position 
of a tyrant to the nobility of Scotland ; his measures towards them were 
harsh and unjust ; and had their loyalty and devotedness been less sterling 
than it appeared, they would have been driven by his oppression to rebellion 
long before they were. James thus showed himself cruelly ungrateful to 
those who for his sake, either in their own persons, or in the persons of 
their eldest sons, had become exiles among their traditional enemies, where 
they, for the most part, either died, or were exchanged for others of equal 
importance; 1 yet, shortly after the conclusion of this arrangement, and before 
King James the First had sat a single year on the throne of his fathers, 
he was the author of one of the most sanguinary tragedies ever executed on 
Scottish soil, — two knights, with their a^red father and more ared «rand- 
father, the most venerable of Scotland's nobles, tried, condemned, and hurried 
from the tribunal to the block. 

Previous to his coronation, as remarked, King James had caused the 
1 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 474. 


arrest, along with two others, of Walter Stewart, the oldest surviving son and 
heir of Duke Murdach. In the same year, 1424, Duncan, Earl of Lennox, 
was also arrested and imprisoned in the Castle of Edinburgh, while Eobert 
of Graham was consigned to a similar fate in the Castle of Dunbar. 1 

The King held his second Parliament at Perth, on 12th March 1425, and 
on the ninth day of its sitting lie caused to be arrested Murdach Duke 
of Albany, and his son Sir Alexander Stewart, with twenty-six others, 
namely, Archibald fifth Earl of Douglas, William Douglas Earl of Angus, 
George Dunbar Earl of March, Alexander Lindsay, Adam Hepburn of 
Hailes, Thomas Hay of Yester, Walter of Haliburton, Walter Ogilvy, David 
Stewart of Eosyth, Alexander Seton of Gordon, Patrick Ogilvy of Ochter-, John the Eed Stewart of Dundonald, David Murray of Gask, John 
Stewart of Cardine, William Hay of Errol Constable of Scotland, Alexander 
Irvine of Drum, Herbert Maxwell of Carlaverock, Herbert Herries of 
Terregles, Andrew Gray of Foulis, Eobert Cunningham of Kilmaurs, Alex- 
ander Eamsay of Dalhousie, and William Crichton of Crichton. On the same 
day, John Montgomerie of Montgomerie, and Alan of Otterburn, the Secretary 
of the Duke of Albany, were also arrested, but shortly afterwards were 
released. Immediately after these arrests, the King sent and took possession 
of two of Duke Murdach's castles, Doune in Menteith and Falkland. In the 
former he found Isabella, Duchess of Albany, and sent her with the other 
prisoners to the Castle of St. Andrews, but he afterwards removed her to 
Tantallon, and the Duke of Albany to Carlaverock Castle. 2 The portion of 
Carlaverock Castle in which Duke Murdach was confined is still preserved, 
and is known as " Murdach's Tower." It is the round tower on the south- 
western angle of the Castle, and is about eleven feet in diameter. The tower 
was far removed from the vassals of Albany, and may on that account have 
1 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 482. 2 Ibid. p. 483. 


been considered the safest in the kingdom. He was taken from it to his trial 
and execution at Stirling. 1 

Only one of Duke Murdach's sons, James, was at liberty, and he would, 
no doubt, have shared the fate of his father and brothers if King James 
could have captured him. He, however, escaped, and, enraged by the 
imprisonment of his father and brothers, attacked, in company with Finlay, 
bishop of Lismore, and others, the burgh of Dumbarton, which, in spite of 
strong resistance, he burned, and slew John Stewart of Dundonald, otherwise 
of Burley, called the Eed Stewart, an uncle of King James, and with him 
thirty-two other persons. For this the King pursued him so closely that he 
was compelled, with the Bishop, to betake himself for safety to Ireland, 
where he died. 2 

Several of those taken along with Duke Murdach had obtained their 
liberty, as is evident from the Eed Stewart being at Dumbarton when it was 
assaulted by James Stewart. Others seem to have been set at liberty on 
promising to assist the King in the removal of Albany and his sons, for they 
sat on the jury of twenty-one which condemned them and the Earl of 
Lennox. Of those thus liberated there were eight, namely, Archibald Earl 
of Douglas, William Earl of Angus, George Earl of March, John Montgomerie, 
William Hay of Errol, Constable, Herbert Herries of Terregles, Robert 
Cuningham of Kilmaurs, and Patrick Ogilvy, Sheriff of Angus, who, with 
those already in the King's confidence, were sufficient to insure a verdict 
against those whose life the King sought. 

On the 18th of May the King continued his Parliament at Stirling, and 
on the 24th of that month, when seated on his throne in state, Walter 
Stewart was brought before him for trial, his accusation read, and he being 

1 The Book of Carlaverock, by William Fraser, vol. i. pp. 56, 130. ., 

2 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 4S3. 

VOL. I. 2 M 


convicted, was at once led forth and beheaded in front of the castle. On the 
morrow similar proceedings took place with regard to Duke Murdach, his 
son, Sir Alexander, and the aged Earl of Lennox. They shared the same fate, 
and with like haste ; and to add to the ghastly spectacle, on the same day 
five of those who had been with James Stewart at the burning of Dumbarton, 
who had been taken and brought to the King on the 8th of May, were drawn 
asunder by horses, and their bodies suspended on gibbets. 1 The bodies of the 
Earl of Lennox, the Duke of Albany and his two sons, were buried in the 
Church of the Preaching Friars at Stirling, on the south side of the great altar. 

The scene of their execution was an eminence to the north of the castle, 
the Gowling Hill, or Heading Hill, as it was afterwards called from this 
sanguinary scene. The event itself was one which drew from those who 
witnessed it expressions of deep regret and compassion. Duke Murdach and 
his two sons were men of gigantic stature ; and of Sir "Walter Stewart it is 
recorded, in marked contrast to the testimony of Bower, that he was a most 
loveable person, of sagacious eloquence, agreeable to every one, and universally 
beloved, and that his death was deplored not only by those who knew him, 
but by all who had heard of his fame. 2 When to these was added the 
spectacle of the venerable Earl of Lennox, now in his eightieth year, and one 
of the most peaceable noblemen of that time, being led to the block, it 
cannot be wondered that expressions of indignation against such unsparing 
rigour found vent amongst the spectators. 

Much conjecture has been raised as to the cause of this procedure on the 
part of King James. As has been stated, the arrest of Sir Walter Stewart 
was made before the coronation of the King, and the only charge which is 
known to have been preferred against him is that of " dc rdborea" of which 

1 Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 483. 

2 Scotichronicon, Cupar MS., quoted iu Fordun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 483, note. 


he was convicted by the assize, and beheaded. 1 What is implied in this term 
is doubtful, the most probable suggestion being that it refers to the spoliation 
of crown lands. The pretext for the arrest of Duke Murdach, his son 
Alexander, and the Earl of Lennox, with so many other nobles during the 
sitting of the second Parliament at Perth, has been supposed to be the inatten- 
tion paid by these nobles to the laws passed by themselves at the previous 
meeting of Parliament, evidence of which appeared at the second meeting, 
upon which the King ordered their arrest. But all the others were released, 
and only Albany, his sons, and Lennox chosen for the slaughter, while no 
record has been preserved of the crimes of which they were accused. It could 
not have been usurpation of the government on the part of the Duke, as has 
been suggested, for, as formerly shown, his transactions during the whole 
period of his regency were not only never called in question either by the 
nobility or King James, but were actually confirmed by both, and the death of 
the Duke alone might have sufficed had such been the crime. Feelings of 
revenge against the whole house of Albany on account of the alleged murder 
of Eothesay, and detention of King James in England, are also stated as a 
reason for the arrest ; but as these alleged facts have been shown to have had 
no foundation, they are not likely to have given rise to such feelings. It 
may have been represented to the King that the power of the Albanies 
had become too great, and that while they lived he would not be able to 
consolidate his own power ; but these reasons will not provide any satisfactory 
ground for including the aged Earl of Lennox in the slaughter. "Whatever 

1 SeotichronicoD, Cupar MS., quoted in For- £15, Os. lOJd., and this was considered so 

dun, a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 483, note. The only trivial by the Lords Auditors, that they did 

instance on record of misdemeanour on the part not think it worth while consulting the Gover- 

of Sir Walter Stewart was his detention of nor, but merely instructed the custumars to 

the custumars of Linlithgow in his castle of deduct the sum from the next payment made 

Dumbarton until they paid him the sum of to him. — [Exchequer Rolls, vol. iv. p. 365.] 


his reason, King James evidently sought to annihilate the house of Albany. 
Pinkerton prints a contemporary account of the murder of King James the 
First, which refers in the following terms to the execution now related : — 

" Whos deth the people of the land sore grutched and mowrnid, seying 
that thay suppoised and ymagynd that the Kyng did rather that vigorious 
execucion upon the Lordes of his kyne, for the covetise of thare possessions 
and goodes, thane for any other rightfull cause, althofe he fonde colourabill 
wais to serve his entent yn the contrary e." 1 

At all events, it was not because of any danger to the State that King- 
James procured the death of these noblemen. There is nothing to show that 
they were moving sedition; they attended the Parliament, and performed their 
accustomed duties till they were suddenly and unexpectedly arrested. Their 
lives might have been useful to the country had they been spared, but the 
King's jealousy prompted their removal, as it would lessen the risk of failure in 
his own succession in the event of a rising of the other nobles or people, for 
they were the next heirs to the crown. Colourable pretexts may have been 
found to convict them of treason, but it is more likely, judging from James's 
policy towards the nobles, that he succeeded in intimidating those who sat 
on the jury to fulfil his wishes. Sir David Lindsay of the Mount thus refers 

to this deed : — 

" Quho rang in court more hie and tryumphand 

Nor Duke Murdoke, quhill that his day indurit I 
Was be nocht gret Protectour of Scotland ? 

Yit of the court he was nocht weill assurit ; 

It changit so, his lang servyce wes smurit ; 
He and his sonne, fair Walter, but remede, 
Forfaltit war, and put to dulefull dede." 2 

1 Pinkerton, vol. i. Appendix, p. 463. 

2 Poetical Works of Sir David Lyudsay, by David Laing, vol. i. p. 77. 


The death of Duke Murdach and his sons being ostensibly for high 
treason, and his youngest son, James, being now an outlaw on whose head a 
price was placed, the vast earldoms of Fife and Menteith fell into the King's 
hands. A charter, granted by James, Abbot of Dunfermline, and the convent 
thereof, on 4th January 1506, bears that the deceased Murdach, Duke of 
Albany, Earl of Fife and Menteith, tenant to the said abbot and monastery 
in the lands of Cluny, had, for certain treasonable crimes, forfeited his life 
and lands and all his goods within Scotland to King James the First ; and 
although the said King and his successors kept the said lands of Cluny for 
some time to their own use, and disponed them to certain persons, yet King 
James the Fourth, then present King of Scots, moved through conscience 
and his accustomed goodness, and being advised by a decree of the Lords of 
Council, restored the superiority of the said lands of Cluny to the said abbot 
and convent. 1 

The earldom of Lennox, however, was not forfeited, but was inherited 
by Isabella, Duchess of Albany, as heir to her father, Earl Duncan, under 
the feudal investitures of the earldom, and it remained in her posses- 
sion till her death. After her release from Tantallon Castle, the Duchess 
returned to the home of her childhood in Inchmurrin Castle, Lochlomond, 
the principal messuage of the earldom of Lennox. From this place she 
managed the affairs of the earldom, and numerous charters attest both her 
munificence to the Church and her capacity for business. She received, 
in 1434, at the King's command, a grant of £29, 6s. 8d. from the Exchequer; 
and probably it is the same lady who is referred to under the name Elizabeth, 
Duchess of Albany, as the recipient of £8, 2s. for clothing and furniture 
about four years previously. 2 Duchess Isabella's youngest son, James, 

1 Appendix to Fourth Report of Historical mss. Commission, p. 497. 

2 Exchequer Eolls, vol. iv. pp. 473, 591. 


died in his exile in Ireland; but in the year 1445 three of his illegi- 
timate sons were with her at Inchmurrin, whose names were James, 
Arthur, and Walter, and they witnessed, on 15th February of that year, 
a charter by Isabella, Duchess of Albany and Countess of Lennox, to 
William of Edmonstoun, son and heir of Sir William of Edmonstoun, Lord 
of Cullodene, and his wife, Matilda Stewart (a grand-daughter of the 
Duchess), of the lands of Duntreath, in the earldom of Lennox. 1 They 
were still with her in the year 1451, and witnessed a charter granted by 
her at Inchmurrin, on 18th May, of the lands of Balylogan, in the parish 
of Kilrnaronock and earldom of Menteith, to John of Govane, prior of 
the Preaching Friars of Glasgow, and his successors, for the welfare of her 
soul and the souls of her late husband, Murdach, Lord Duke of Albany, her 
father, Duncan, Earl of Lennox, and her sons Walter, James, and Alexander. 

For some time after the death of Duke Murdach there were two Duchesses 
of Albany in Scotland — Duchess Muriella, the second wife of Duke Eobert, 
and Duchess Isabella. The former must have been well advanced in years 
at the time when the last reference to her pension from King James occurs 
in the Accounts of the Auditors of the Exchequer for 1435, and she probably 
received the money from the forfeited earldoms of Fife and Menteith. 
Duchess Isabella survived until about the year 1460, and saw the violent 
end of that King who at one blow deprived her of father, husband, and sons. 
She also lived until near the end of the reign of King James the Second. 

By his Duchess Isabella, Duke Murdach had four sons and one 
daughter : — 

1. Robert Stewart, called of Fife. He is mentioned in the accounts 
of the year 1415 as receiving share of a balance of £50, lis. 9d. 
in the hands of the custumars of North Berwick, which, by 

1 The Lennox, by William Fraser, vol. i. p. 269. 


command of the Governor, Duke Robert, was divided between 
him, another grandson, John of Swinton, and Sir Eobert of 
Lawder. 1 Eobert Stewart died before 1421, without issue. 
2. Sir Walter Stewart of Lennox, but, after the death of his elder 
brother, styled of Fife, Lennox, and Menteith. Previous to the 
year 1416 he was appointed keeper of the Castle of Dumbarton 
in place of, or along with Sir Walter Buchanan, his brother-in-law, 
who received twenty marks of the hundred annually granted for 
the office, while Sir Walter received eighty. 2 

Under the regency of his father, Sir Walter, as his eldest sur- 
viving son and heir, exercised considerable power, a proof of 
which is his writing a letter to the French King, dated at Stirling, 
in the month of October 1423, in which he promised to observe 
and keep the treaties of alliance and confederation between 
the kingdoms of France and Scotland. 3 He was seized and 
imprisoned by King James the First as soon as the latter 
entered Scotland, and after being kept a year in captivity, 
was tried and executed at Stirling, on 24th May 1425. 

A marriage was arranged between Sir Walter and Janet Erskine, 
daughter of Sir Eobert Erskine, and as they were related to one 
another in the third degree, a papal dispensation was obtained 
from Pope Martin the Fifth, dated 27th May 1421. 4 But it is 
unknown if this proposed marriage was ever celebrated, and Sir 
Walter left no legitimate issue. 5 

1 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iv. p. 226. 6 The alleged marriages and issue of Sir 

2 Ibid. pp. 242, 363. Walter Stewart have formed the subject of 

3 Report ou Foedera, Appendix D, p. 128. controversy. According to the family tradi- 

4 Andrew Stuart's Genealogical History of tion of the Stewarts of Ardvoirlich, who are 
the Stewarts, p. 451. descended from James Stewart, a younger 


3. Sir James Stewart, called More. He, as formerly narrated, was 

driven to take up arms on the arrest of his father and brothers, 
and after burning Dumbarton, fled to Ireland, where he died in 
1451. By a lady of the family of Macdonald he left a natural 
son, James Stewart Beg, who was the ancestor of the Stewarts of 
Ardvoirlich. He had also a natural daughter, Matilda, married 
to William Edmondstone of Duntreath. This marriage is proved 
by a charter by Isabella, Duchess of Albany, to William of 
Edmonstone and Matilda Stewart his spouse, of the lands of 
Duntreath and others, dated 15th February 1445. 1 

4. Sir Alexander Stewart, called of Kinclevin, who was beheaded, 

along with his father the Duke and his grandfather the Earl of 
Lennox, at Stirling, on 25th May 1425. He left no issue. 
The daughter of Duke Murdach was — ■ 

Lady Isabella Stewart, who married Sir Walter Buchanan of Buchanan 
in Stirlingshire, and left issue. 

brother of Sir Walter, Andrew, Lord Avail- his arguments for the parentage of Lord 

dale, was also a son of James. George Craw- Avandale, Mr. Stuart is more successful than 

furd, Duncan Stewart, and other eminent in his pleading, however plausible, for the 

genealogists, believed in that tradition. But legitimacy of Avandale and his brothers 

the question of the parentage of Lord Avandale Arthur and Walter. In the Act of Legiti- 

has been made a special study by the Hon. mation granted to them by King James III., 

and Eev. Andrew Godfrey Stuart in his the three brothers are treated as bastards. 

History of the Stuarts of Castle - Stuart Buchanan refers to Arthur as base born, thus 

(1854). Mr. Stuart maintains that Sir Walter corroborating the legitimation as to him ; and 

was the father of Avandale and three brothers, the evidence as to the Campbell lady calls 

Alexander, Murdach, and Arthur, by a lady her an unlawful wife. 

of the name of Campbell, and that by a second l Genealogical Account of the Family of 

marriage with Janet Erskine, Sir Walter was Edmonstone of Duntreath, by Sir Archibald 

the father of Walter Stewart of Morphie, Edmonstone of Duntreath, Baronet, 1S75, 

ancestor of the family of Castle-Stuart. In p. 32. 



By the forfeiture of Murdach, Duke of Albany, the earldom of Menteith 
became the property of the Crown. As King James the First had also 
deprived Malise Graham of his earldom of Strathern, he shortly afterwards 
granted to him a portion of the earldom of Menteith as a new earldom, as 
will be shown in the next chapter, on the history of the Grahams, Earls of 

The subsequent history of the title of Duke of Albany shows how short- 
lived was each successive creation of that distinguished dignity. After 
having been extinct for nearly half a century, it was revived before 1466 in 
favour of Alexander Stewart, Earl of March and Lord of Annandale, the 
second son of King James the Second. On his death in France in 1485, it 
devolved on his eldest lawful son, John, who for nine years (1514-1523) was 
Governor of Scotland during the minority of King James the Fifth, and was 
declared next heir to the Crown in the event of that King's death without 
heirs. Duke John died in France in 1536, when the title of Duke of Albany 
became extinct the second time. It was, however, in 1541 again revived in 
favour of Prince Arthur, second son of King James the Fifth ; but he died 
in childhood. A third time it was revived by Queen Mary, and bestowed 
upon Henry, Lord Darnley, on the occasion of his marriage with the Queen 
in 1565. On Darnley's death the title of Duke of Albany descended to his 
son King James the Sixth, who created his second son Prince Charles, 
afterwards King Charles the First, Duke of Albany on the occasion of his 
baptism, on 23d December 1600. King Charles the First created his eldest 
son Prince Charles, afterwards King Charles the Second, Duke of Albany 
in 1631, and he in turn, on 31st December 1660, created his younger brother 

VOL. I. 2 N 


Prince James, Duke of Albany. The latter succeeded as King James the 
Second of England, and on his forfeiture of the Crown the title of Albany 
was again extinguished. 1 

After the accession of the House of Hanover to the British throne, 
Prince Edward Augustus, second son of Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales, 
was, in 1760, created by King George the Second Duke of Albany and 
Yokk; and on his death in 1767, that title became extinct. It was once 
more revived in 1784, by King George the Third, in favour of his second 
son, Prince Frederick, and again became extinct on the death of the latter, 
without issue, on 5th January 1827. He was the last who held this oft- 
created and oft- extinguished dignity of Duke of Albany. 

It will thus be seen that during the five centuries through which this 
dignity has existed, it has never continued under the same creations beyond 
the second generation, having been interrupted either by forfeiture, failure 
of heirs, or new creations. 

1 Prince Charles Edward did not assume was named Charlotte Stuart. She was very 

the title of King as his father did, but devoted to her father in his declining years, 

contented himself with the humbler dignity He legitimated her, and went through the 

of Count of Albany. Charles had one form about the same time of making her 

daughter by Clementine Marie Sophie, Duchess of Albany, by which title she was 

daughter of John Walkinshaw of Barrow- known till her death in November 1789, 

field, in the county of Lanark. The daughter being then about forty years of age. 





THE Memoirs of these two Dukes' were in type and ready to be printed, 
when, in the month of November 1880, there came under the notice of 
the author, while examining the miscellaneous collection of imprinted manu- 
scripts in Her Majesty's General Register House, Edinburgh, of which he 
had in the previous month become official custodier as Deputy Keeper of 
the Records, the note of a large sheet of paper containing three separate and 
two circular letters by King James the First to his uncle the Duke of Albany 
and others relative to his release from his captivity in England. On making 
inquiry for that paper, it was ascertained that it had been found in the year 
1853 by a gentleman not officially connected with the public Records, when 
professionally engaged in making searches among the Warrants of Processes 
in the General Register House. The paper was handed by that gentleman 
to one of the Deputy Keepers of the Records, and it was afterwards placed 
within cover of an envelope, where it appears to have lain undisturbed from 
that date. The fragment appears to be the original draft by the secretary of 
King James the First of the letters before being engrossed and despatched 
to the respective noblemen to whom they were addressed. N 

The letters are all dated from Stratford Awe, or Avon. They do not state 
the year in which they were written. They must, however, have been written 
before Sir Murdach Stewart obtained his release, about the beginning of the 
year 1416, as in the first letter, which is addressed to Duke Robert, the King 


states that he has obtained to it, in addition to his own signet, that of his 
cousin of Fife, clearly referring to Sir Murdach Stewart, who was popularly 
called " of Fife," as the eldest son of Duke Eobert, Earl of Fife. John Lyon, 
the King's chaplain, and bearer of the letters, went to England to King James 
in May 1412 on a safe-conduct, which was to continue till the King's 
liberation. 1 Sir William Cockburn, to whom reference is made by James, is 
known to have been one of the commissioners in England treating for the 
King's deliverance in July or August 141 3, 2 though he may also have been 
with the King at a later date, while the following letters appear to have 
been brought to Scotland by John Lyon in February 1416, as on the 20th 
January of that year he received a safe-conduct from Henry the Fifth of 
England to proceed to Scotland, 3 and the letters bear date the 30th January. 

1. King James the First to his Uncle, Robert, Duke of Albany. 4 

Duci tantum. 
Gretynge as to our selfe. Most der and best belufit eme, it is nouch vnknowin to 
yhow that we haue syndry tymys writtyn to yhow and to the thre Estattis of our 
rwme for our deliuerans witht Archibalde of Edmondistoun and William of Cokbourne, 
our trew kynchtis, and now of late witht Jon Lyone, our tiast and wel belufit chape- 
layne, and of thir letteris ane no al hade we neuer answer, and tharof vs ferlyis nouch 
lytyle. Qwarfor we pray yhow effectusly and riqweris that of tha letteris yhe sende 
ws answer witht our forsayd chapelayn, berar of this letter, and at yhe mak exsecucion 
for our deliuerans efter the ordinans of our consale generale, so dowly that in yhour 
defaut we be nouch send to sek remede of our deliuerans otherqware in tyme to cum. 
Alsswa we pray yhow effectusly that yhe haue the berare of this letter wel commendit, 

1 Rotuli Scotue, vol. ii. p. 200. 4 Original Draft of this and the four follow- 

2 Ibid. p. 206. ing letters on a single sheet of paper in Her 

3 Ibid. p. 215. Majesty's General Register House, Edinburgh. 


for he has mad to vs and ouris no nother caus, thankit be Gode. Writtyn at Stratforde 
Awe, the penvltyma day of Janueir, vndyr our propir signe manuele and signet, witht 
the signet of our welbelufit cosynge of Fyffe. 

2. The Same to the Eaels of Douglas and Dunbar, and the Lord of Dalkeith. 

Douglas. Dalketht. Dunbar. 
Gretynge as to our selfe. Der and wel belufit brother, we haue syndry tymys 
writtyn to yhow til stere our most lufit erne of Albany douly to trauele for vs and our 
deliuerans efter the ordinans of our generale consale, and now o late we wrot to zhow 
witht our trast and wel belufit chapellayn Jone Lyone, the qwilk zhe resayfit thankfully, 
as he has lattyn vs wit, and tharof we thank zhow and prayis zhow witht al our hart 
to labore for vs and our deliuerans eftter the tenor of tha letteris, sene zhe botht wele 
cane and may, and our speciale trast is in zhow, and the delay of our hamecome standis 
al anely in thaim that sowlde persue for vs, for we haue commondit witht our most 
gracious cosynge the excellent Kyng of Ingilland for our deliuerans, and we haue foundyu 
hyme so gracious that in hym is no thyng to amende as the berare can lat yhow wit, witht 
qwilk zhe send answer qwat zhe haue done and may do in this mater, and qwat [zhe] 
thynk war vs to do gife delay war made as it has bene in tymis [gane. Wryttyn] ut prius. 

3. The Same to the Lords of Graham, Erskine, and Ardrossan. 

[On margin :] Grame. Erskyn. Ardrossan. 
Gretynge as to our selfe. Trast and wel belufit brother (Alyzhe), 1 witt zhe we haue 
comounit for our deliuerans [witht]' 2 our most excellent cosyng the gracious Kyng of 
Ingillande, and we haue fundyn hym mor gracious than we can say or write, thankit 
be Gode ; and his desyre is that our most lufit erne of Albany dide trewly his det for 
our deliuerans eftter at the consale generale has ordanit befor tyme, and gif he wile 
nouch so do we mone sek other remede on nede, the qwilk we trast to fynde gif Gode 
wile, as the berare of this letter, Jon Lyone, our trast and welbelufit chapellayn, sale lat 

1 This word " Alyzhe" is written above the line as an alternative to the word " brother " 
which immediately precedes it. The original word "cosyng" is deleted. 2 Original worn. 


yhow wit, to the qwilk zhe gife i'erme credens and answer; and gife yhe may sterre 
oure erne most lufit beforsayde to do his det, for we thynk God wilnande to mak zhow 
and yhowris for al at zhe sale do gud rewarde in tyme to cum. Writtyn ut prius. 

4. Cieculae Letter by King James the Fiest. 
[On margin :] Pluribus x. 
Gretynge as to our self. Trast and wel belufit frend, cosyng, or alizhe, wit zhe we 
haue comounit for our deliuerans witht our most excellent cosyng the gracious Kynge 
of Ingilland, and we haue fundyn hym to vs, thankit be God, mor gracious than we 
may say or write, as the berar of this letter, Jon Lyone, our wel belufit chapellane, can 
lat yhow wit, witht the qwilk we pray yho sende vs answer in writ qwat yhe haue 
done or may do to the letteris we send yhow last, and qwat war to be done gif our 
deliuerans war put in delay as it has bene in tyme gane. And this yhe do for vs as 
we trast in yhow, for we sale mak yhow rewarde tharfor gif God wil in tyme to cum. 
Writtyn ut prius. 

5. Another Cieculae Lettee by King James the Fiest. 
[On margin :] ij. 
Gretynge as to our selfe. Wit yhe we haue resayfit yhour letteris answer of the 
letteris we sende to yhow witht our trast and wel lufit chapellan Jon Lyone, of the 
qwilkis we thank yhow witht al our hart, and specially of the confort and helpe zhe 
made to the forsayde Jon Lyone for our sak, and yhit we pray yhow hartfully to stere 
in this consale witht al the helpe of frendschipe and of our trew legemene yhe may 
get, our trast and mast lufit erne of Albany to do for our deliuerans efter the ordinans 
of the generale consale, for as we vndyrstande our most excellent cosyng the mychty 
Kyng of Ingillande wile be to vs gracious and helplik, for we haue comounit witht hym, 
as the berar beforsayd can lat yhow wit beforsayde, witht the qwilk yhe sende vs 
answer in writ qwat yhe haue done or may do in this mater, and qwat yhow thynk 
war vs to do gif our deliuerans war put in delay, as it has bene [in tymis gane. And 
this] yhow [do] for vs, ut prius. 


Another letter relative to the same matter was written by King James 
to the burgh of Perth, probably on the 8th August previous to the writing of 
the foregoing letters. A copy of that letter is preserved in the archives of 
the burgh. In it James wrote that he had, 

thankit be God, maid appoyntment of our delywerance with the excellent King of 
Ingland, and for neidful dispenss that we man mak on our passage, and for payment 
that we sould mak quhair we ar awand in London, we have writtin to our aime of 
Albanie to send us of our awin gudis to pay our debtis, and mak our oostis as 
worschip weeld, and gif he help us not, as we haif prayed him and chargied, necessitie 
compellis us to pray yow till help us with some pairt of dispenss at this tyme. 
Quhairfoir speciallie we pray yow, and requyris that ye gif us or len us a certain 
portioun of your propir guidis as ye ar disposed. Quhilk we sal gar be allowit to you 
in your earest custome, quhat euir it be, and send us this good with ane honest burges 
of your awin, quhilk sail hawe saif conduyeit, as the berare of this lettres sail doe you 
witt. To the quhilk ye give firme credence in oure name, and gif ye can not find to 
refresh us in this mister, we doe you to witt that it is oure will, and we chairge yow 
ye put no merchandise to the see that aw us custom, under all payne that may follow 
in tyme to cum, till ye hawe licence and commandement of us. Wreitten at Londoun, 
the aught day of August, under oure proppir signe manuall and signett. 

As the five letters, now printed for the first time, bear closely upon the 
proceedings of Robert, Duke of Albany, in reference to the liberation of King 
James from his captivity, and as they are new to history, it has been considered 
right to append them to his memoir and that of his son, as they could not be 
inserted at their appropriate place in chronological order. They afford an 
interesting contribution to the history of King James's captivity, and supply 
evidence of the King's great anxiety and impatience to be released, and 
his mistaken opinion that his release was simply a matter of exertion, and 
entirely in the power of his uncle Albany. But King James, owing to his 
youth at the time of his capture, and his consequent inexperience of the 


affairs of Scotland, had never as yet known the extreme poverty of his own 
kingdom, and how insurmountable were the difficulties of obtaining the 
large ransom demanded by King Henry the Fifth. James afterwards 
learned the impossibility of paying the much smaller sum asked in 1424 
to reimburse the English Treasury for his expenses. But at the time 
he felt flattered by the compliments and courtesy of Henry, who seems also 
to have encouraged James in the opinion that Albany was but deceiving him, 
and that his deliverance was a matter of less difficulty than it really was. 
The grants of freedom which King Henry had shortly before given to several 
Scottish barons, including the King's cousin, Sir Murdach Stewart, who had 
been his fellow-prisoner, strengthened this opinion, and induced King James 
to blame the Duke of Albany for remissness. But it is evident from the terms 
of the letters that he was not quite sure of the justness of his accusation. 
In the letter to the Duke he calls him his most dear and best beloved " eme " 
or uncle ; and though this may be considered merely a formal and compli- 
mentary phrase from the royal nephew to his royal uncle, it is really more, 
as when the King wrote to the others he also in their letters calls him 
his most loved uncle. If the King had truly thought that Albany was 
conniving at his undue detention, it is hardly conceivable that he would have 
addressed himself and other noblemen and gentlemen in reference to him in 
those endearing terms. Nor are the King's terms of endearment limited to 
Albany alone. His eldest son Murdach had long been a fellow-prisoner with 
the King, and they appear to have lived on the most affectionate terms. The 
King borrowed from him his signet for his private letter to his uncle Albany, 
and styled him his well-beloved cousin of Fife. Yet in a few years, when 
James had gained his regal power, this well-beloved cousin was made one 
of the victims of the royal revenge. 

MARION, his Countess. 
1427— 1490. 

ALTHOUGH the earldom of Menteith was possessed by a branch of the 
" gallant Grahams " for a longer period than by any other family, only 
one or two of the Graham Earls of Menteith became conspicuous in history. 
Their- chiefs in the main line of Montrose were more famous, as also at a 
later date the branch of Claverhouse. William, the seventh Earl of Menteith, 
whose remarkable life will be given at length in a subsequent section of this 
part of the work, was the most distinguished of his line. A short statement 
will elucidate the origin of the possessors of the new earldom of Menteith 
given to Malise Graham, formerly Earl of Strathern, a younger branch of the 
direct line of the Grahams. 

Sir David of Graham, ancestor of both the Montrose and Menteith 
Grahams, acquired lands in Kilpont and Ulieston, in the county of Linlithgow, 
from Sir Ralph Noble and his son, Thomas Noble, in the reigns of the second 
and third Alexanders. These lands continued for centuries in the Graham 
family, the actual property of them being in the Menteith branch, and the 
superiority in the chief or Montrose line, in which it was confirmed by a 
charter from Murdach, Duke of Albany, on 8th January 1421, to Sir William, 

vol. i. 2 o 


Lord of Graham. 1 From the lands of Kilpont the junior title of Lord 
Kilpont in the Graham Earls of Menteith was derived. 

The great-grandson of Sir David of Graham was Sir Patrick of Graham, 
who nourished in the fourteenth century, and was the father of Sir William 
Graham, the ancestor of the Lords Graham, and of the Earls, Marquises, 
and Dukes of Montrose. The second son of Sir Patrick was Patrick Graham, 
afterwards Sir Patrick Graham of Kincardine, who, by his marriage with 
Eufamia Stewart, Countess Palatine of Strathern, only daughter and heiress 
of Prince David Stewart, Earl Palatine of Strathern, either through courtesy 
of Ms wife or by creation, became Earl Palatine of Strathern. After the 
death of her father, Countess Eufamia confirmed, on 2d March 1400, a 
charter granted by him to Sir Eobert Stewart ; 2 and previous to 6th 
December 1406, she married Sir Patrick Graham, who on that day, with 
her consent, granted a charter to Eufamia of Lindsay, daughter of the 
deceased Sir Alexander of Lindsay of Glenesk. 3 In 1408, under the desig- 
nation of Earl Palatine of Strathern, Sir Patrick confirmed a charter by 
Earl David, granting to Maurice of Drummond the office of Steward of 
Strathern. 4 On 10th August 1413 he was slain by his brother-in-law, Sir 
John Drummond of Concraig, leaving his Countess with two daughters 
and an only son, Malise Graham. 

The marriage of Sir Patrick Graham and Countess Eufamia took place 
probably about the year 1406, and on the death of the former, the dignity of 
Earl Palatine of Strathern devolved on their son, Malise Graham. Being a 
minor, Earl Malise was placed under the tutelage of his maternal granduncle, 
Walter Stewart, Earl of Athole, who, in his capacity of tutor to Malise, Earl 
Palatine of Strathern, confirmed several charters in connection with that 
earldom. Earl Malise was proposed in 1423 as one of the hostages for King 
1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 288. - Ibid. p. 271. 3 Ibid. p. 273. 4 Ibid. p. 276. 


James the First, the value of his lands being estimated at five hundred 
merks ; : but he did not, at this time, become a hostage, either on account of 
his minority, or because fewer sureties were required after the sum of ten 
thousand pounds was remitted to King James as the dowry of Queen Joanna. 
He was one of those Scottish nobles who went to Durham to welcome their 
monarch on his return from his captivity in England. 2 

Not long after his restoration the earldom of Strath ern attracted the 
cupidity of King James the First, and he took steps to bring it into his 
own power. He had already secured the earldoms of Fife and Menteith by 
the death and forfeiture of Duke Murdach, and on the pretext that the 
earldom of Strathern was a male fief, and therefore ought to have returned 
to the Crown on the death of Earl David, instead of passing to his daughter, 
the Countess Eufamia, and through her to Earl Malise, the King divested 
the latter of the earldom. 

These were not the only earldoms that shared such a fate. In 1434 King 
James carried out a design he had formed of seizing the extensive lands of 
the Earls of March, alleging that on account of the treason of the Earl's 
late father, the lands had been forfeited to the Crown, though since his 
restoration the late Earl and his son had enjoyed them undisturbed for twenty- 
six years. Having despoiled the Earl of March, King James created him, as 
if in mockery, Earl of Buchan, with an assignation of four hundred merks 
annually out of that earldom. Fearing to remonstrate lest worse should 
follow, the Earl did not resist, but immediately afterwards retired to England 
in company with his eldest son. 3 The earldom of Buchan had also come into 
the King's hands, which seems to have deterred the heir to the earldom, 
Robert Stewart, youngest son of Robert, Duke of Albany, from presuming to 

1 Rymer's Foedera, vol. x. p. 307. 2 Ibid. p. 309. 

3 Ty tier's History of Scotland, third edition, voL iii. p. 129. 


assert his claim under the last and regulating charter of the earldom. Soon 
thereafter the earldom of Mar, in terms of a new grant of that earldom, 
became the property of the Crown on the death of Earl Alexander Stewart. 

This seizure of earldom after earldom alarmed the nobles. They, 
however, were not sufficiently united to withstand the King, whose acts, 
though coloured at times with a legal form, they felt to be grossly unjust and 
oppressive. Not to mention the cases of Menteith, Fife, Buchan, or March, that 
of Strathern alone, which principally concerns us here, was one of marked 
injustice. This was proved when the earldom and dignity were claimed in 
1630 by William Graham, seventh Earl of Menteith, and his right legally 
established, by the fact that his arguments and feudal titles were found 
unassailable, although it may have been inexpedient to seek the recovery of 
what had been long before settled by Act of Parliament. The cause of that 
Earl's overthrow was not because his claim was ill-founded, but because its 
success created an imaginary danger to the family which possessed the throne, 
which it was considered expedient to stamp out at once. 

To mitigate the severity of his seizure of Strathern, James divided the 
earldom of Menteith into two parts, one of which, the western, he erected into 
a new eakldom OF Menteith, in favour of Malise Graham, while the other 
portion, the eastern, was reserved to the Crown, and was afterwards known as 
the Stewartky of Menteith. The charter by King James the First, erecting 
the new earldom, was granted on 6th September 1427. 1 It contains the names 
of the lands comprehended in it, but makes no mention of any fortalice or 
castle. In addition to this grant of the new earldom of Menteith to 
Malise Graham, King James bestowed the earldom of Strathern, for life only, 
upon "Walter Stewart, Earl of Athole and Caithness, the guardian of the 
despoiled Earl Malise. But these acts did not atone for the arbitrary seizure 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 293. 


of the earldom of Strathern by King James, for though, on account of his 
youth, Malise was unable to offer objection to the designs of the all-powerful 
sovereign, the matter was taken so seriously to heart by Sir Eobert Graham, 
the paternal uncle of Earl Malise, that it was one of the main causes which 
led to the assassination of King James the First by that resolute man in 1437. 
It is said that King James the Sixth, when solicited to restore the title 
and earldom of Strathern, always refused with the remark that "he had no 
more for the blood and slaughter of Kin« James the First." 1 

o o 

Only two months after this creation of the new earldom of Menteith, 
Malise Graham, in November 1427, entered England as one of the hostages 
for King James in room of Sir Eobert Erskine. 2 He seems to have been 
confined in the Castle of Pontefract, from which he was not released 
until 17th June 1453, on supplication made by James, Earl of Douglas, and 
James, Lord Hamilton, to King Henry the Sixth of England. An arrange- 
ment was made whereby Alexander Graham, son and heir of Earl Malise, was 
to enter as hostage in place of his father, and should he die or make his 
escape, Earl Malise was to return, and the two noblemen who made the 
request for the Earl's release became security for the fulfilment of the terms 
of the agreement. 3 Tytler suggests that communications of a treasonable 
nature took place between the Earl of Douglas and Earl Malise on this 
occasion. 4 K-ut there is no evidence to establish such a supposition, as 
it was not until the following year, 1454, that the Earl of Douglas leagued 
himself with the Yorkists in England in a conspiracy against King James the 
Second, and on the flight of Douglas, Earl Malise subjoined his seal with other 

1 Sir John Scot's True Relation, quoted by 2 Rymer's Fcedera, vol. x. p. 3S1. 

Sir Harris Nicolas, History of the Earldoms 3 Rotuli Scotiae, vol. ii. p. oGS. 

of Strathern and Menteith, Appendix, p. 4 History of Scotland, third edition, vol. iii. 

xxx. p. 253. 


nobles to the instrument of forfeiture made in Parliament on 17th June 
1455. 1 Besides this, as James, Lord Hamilton, was the brother-in-law of Earl 
Malise, having married his sister, Eufamia Graham, after the death of her 
first husband, Archibald, fifth Earl of Douglas, the ties of kindred would be 
sufficient to impel him to seek the release of the Earl, and to obtain the 
co-operation of the Earl of Douglas in it. Earl Malise recognised the service 
done to him by James, Lord Hamilton, by granting to him and his spouse 
Eufamia, " our dearest sister, for his thankworthy service and help rendered 
to us, all and whole our lands of Illieston, lying in our lordship of Kinpunt, 
in the constabulary of Linlithgow and sheriffdom of Edinburgh." 2 In the 
charter, which was granted at Bothwell Castle on 17th December 1453, 
shortly after his release, Earl Malise designates himself Earl of Menteith and 
Lord of Kinpunt. 3 

The forests in and around Menteith were the favourite resorts of the 
Scottish Court when at Stirling for the sport of the chase, and in order to 
make provision for himself and the lieges during the hunting season and at 
other times in Menteith, King James the Third, on 8th February 146G, 
erected the town of Port into a burgh of barony, granting a charter to Earl 
Malise to this effect. 4 But the Port does not appear ever to have been a 
burgh of importance. 

After his return to Scotland, Earl Malise frequently attended meetings 
of Parliament, and was occasionally on committees. 6 On 29th March 1479, 
he was cited before the Lords of Council, and found by them to have 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 3 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 295. 
vol. ii. p. 77. 

2 It would thus appear that Earl Malise, 4 Ibid. p. 297. 
though deprived of the earldom of Strathern, 

had been permitted to retain the paternal in- 5 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 

heritance of Illieston. vol. ii. pp. 77, 84, 88, 93, 100, etc. 


wrongfully taken three chalders of victual, half the teind of the kirk of 
Aberfoyle, which belonged to William Stewart of Baldorane by lease, from 
Master Patrick Sandilands. These the Earl was to repay, and letters were 
ordained to be written for distraining his lands and goods for the victual, 
and for twelve shillings, the cost of three witnesses, and twenty shillings, the 
costs of William Stewart. 1 

Earl Malise -is said to have been present at and taken part in the battle 
of Sauchie in 1488, which terminated so fatally for King James the Third. 
He had the command of the Stirlingshire men and those from the west, who 
composed the rear division of the royal army. At first the King's troops 
were successful, but it was only for a short time, as on the approach of the 
Borderers, who fought for Prince James, the King and the royal troops were 
compelled to retreat. King James the Third was assassinated the same day 
at Beaton's Mill, near Bannockburn. 2 

Earl Malise died in the year 1490. He is said by some peerage writers 
to have married Anne Vere, daughter of the Earl of Oxford, and by others 
Jane Eochford. But no sufficient proof has been found that either of these 
ladies became his Countess. Marion is mentioned as Countess of Menteith at 
the time of the death of Earl Malise ; but if Marion was then his wife, there 
is reason to suppose she was not his first wife, as she married John of 
Drummond before the 17th of May 1491. Had Countess Marion been the 
first wife of Earl Malise, and about the same age as himself, she must at the 
time of his death have been very old, and would not likely have remarried. It 
was probably after the Earl's death that Countess Marion, in 1490, instituted 
proceedings before the Lords of Council against Walter Buchanan of Buchanan, 
John of Drummond, Macpherson Neil Macnare, and Eobert Menteith, in which 

1 Acta Dominorum Concilii, p. 28. 

2 Tytlers History of Scotland, vol. iii. pp. 429-432. 


she produced her charters, and was successful in asserting her right not to be 
disturbed by Walter Buchanan and the others in the possession of certain 
lands which she held in liferent. 1 On 1 7th May of the following year, the 
Countess again pursued Walter Buchanan before the Lords Auditors, and this 
time in conjunction with John of Drummond her spouse. Walter Buchanan 
was bailie upon the earldom of Menteith for Earl Malise's successor, and had 
without power or licence from the Countess and her husband, held a court 
upon the lands of Samchalze and others, given to her by the late Malise, Earl 
of Menteith. The Countess and John of Drummond produced their charters, 
confirmation, and letters for the lands, and the Lords Auditors condemned 
the bailie, who, after the deliverance of the judgment, protested for himself, 
and as prolocutor for Alexander, Earl of Menteith, that notwithstanding the 
decreet it should not prejudice the Earl in his inheritance, nor himself in his 
letters of bailiary. 2 

Malise, Earl of Menteith, had five sons and one daughter : — 

1 . Alexander Graham, Master of Menteith, or Lord Kilpont, who, as 

son and heir of Earl Malise, became hostage for his father in 
1453, 3 and appears to have predeceased his father in exile before 
1469, without issue male. 

2. John Graham, Master of Menteith, or Lord Kilpont, who, as son 

and heir of Malise, Earl of Menteith, received the lands of Kil- 
bride from King James the Third, by a charter under the Great 
Seal, dated at Stirling, 7th April 1469, upon the resignation of 
them by his father, Earl Malise. 4 He married Margaret Muschet, 
and appears to have died before 1478, without issue male, but 
left a daughter, who was contracted in marriage to Malcolm 

1 Acta Dominonim Concilii, p. 157. 3 Rotuli Scotise, vol. ii. p. 39S. 

- Acta Auditorum, p. 154. 4 Acta Dominonim Concilii, pp. 23S-241. 



Drummond. 1 Margaret Muschet had the terce of the lands of 
Kilbride after the death of her husband. 2 

3. Patrick Graham, Master of Menteith, or Lord Kilpont. On 19th 

October 1478, as son and heir of Malise, Earl of Menteith, he 
was, on a precept by the latter, infeft in the lands of Craigwchty 
and Auchmar, in the earldom of Menteith. 3 He married Isobel, 
daughter of Sir Thomas Erskine, Lord Erskine, but being con- 
nected in the fourth degree of consanguinity, a Papal dispensation 
was obtained for the marriage. The dispensation, after being 
received, was presented to a notary, who drew up an instrument 
to that effect on 24th January 1465. 4 Patrick, Master of 
Menteith, was the father of Alexander, the second Earl, and of 
Henry Graham, his brother. 

4. John Graham, who, although he bears the same name as the second 

son of Earl Malise, is not to be confounded with him. He was 
probably born after the death of his elder brother. On 8th 
December 1485, at Inchtoiloche, Earl Malise granted to his 
son John Graham, for his filial affection, and to the heirs- 
male of his body, whom failing, to revert to Earl Malise and 
heirs whatsoever, a charter of the lands of Port Ernchome, 
Monvrachy, Gartmulzie, Mullen, Cranysmore, with the Lake of 
Inchmahomok and islands of the same, extending to £20, 13s. 4d. 
of old extent, in the earldom of Menteith and shire of Perth. 
This charter was confirmed by King James the Fourth on 
29th June 1489. 5 Along with his brother Walter, who, as will 

1 Acta Dominorum Coneilii, pp. 217, 238. 2 Ibid. p. 213. 

3 Original Instrument of Sasine in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 

4 Inventory of Mar Writs, at Glenalmond. 

3 Registrum Magni Sigilli, Lib. xii. No. 103. 
VOL. I. 2 P 


be seen, got a similar grant from Earl Malise, John Graham, 
on 25th February 1494, resigned all the lands given to him by 
his father. In the instrument of resignation John and Walter 
are described as sons of the late Malise, Earl of Menteith, and 
that "nocht throw na drede leide nor intyll error sliddin;" and 
by the consent of their respective tutors, John, Lord Drummond, 
and Duncan Campbell of G-lenorehy, as well as by the advice 
of their nearest and dearest kin, for the avoidance of much 
apparent trouble and vexation, and promoting friendship betwixt 
them and a mighty and noble lord, " Alexander, Erie of Mentetht, 
our principale lord and cheffe," they had resigned all right, 
property, etc., in the lands given to them by donation of their 
father Malise. The deeds of gift they declared to be entirely 
annulled and of no further value, and also discharged Earl 
Alexander of the sum of two hundred marks, which they had 
paid to the King for the ward of the lands. 1 The mention of 
tutors to these two sons of Earl Malise shows that in 1494 they 
were under age. In 1499 they granted a bond in favour of Earl 
Alexander, their nephew, bearing a procuratory ad rernanentiam, 
and overgiving of certain lands of the earldom of Menteith, 
and as in the note of this bond in the inventory 2 there is no 
mention of tutors, it may be inferred that they were then of full 

John Graham probably received the lands of Kilpont by way 
of compensation for resigning the lands given to him by his father, 
as there is a note of a letter of reversion on Kilpont granted by 

1 Original Instrument in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 

2 Old Inventory, ibid. 



him to Earl Alexander in 1494. 1 In 1500, John Graham received 
a premonition from Earl Alexander that the lands were to be 
redeemed, 2 and an instrument of redemption following thereon 
shows that they returned into the possession of that Earl. 3 

"We have not ascertained whether this John Graham married 
and had issue. Tradition points to a Sir John Graham, son of Earl 
Malise, and designed of Kilbride, as the founder of the families of 
the Grahams of Netherby and others, but in support of this tradi- 
tion no proof has been obtained. The elder brother, Sir John, 
was certainly of Kilbride, but he died without heirs- male, and the 
younger brother, John Graham, had no connection with Kilbride. 
5. Walter Graham, designed Walter Graham of Lochcon or Lochtoun, 
was brother of John immediately preceding. He received 
from his father Malise, on the same day and at the same 
place as his brother John, a charter of the lake of Lochtoun 
(Loch Achray), with its islands, half the lands of Glaskatre, the 
lands of Calgart, Sawnocht, Inchre, the Miltoun and Kirktoun of 
Aberfoyle, Bofressely, Bonynty, Downan, Baleth, Garlonanbeg, 
Gartcarne, Garhat, and Cranisbeg, extending to a £19 land of old 
extent, in the earldom of Menteith and shire of Perth. This charter 
was confirmed by King James the Fourth on 29th June 1489. 4 
Alexander, Earl of Menteith, granted to "Walter, his father's brother, 
a charter of the lands of Kilbride, which was confirmed by King 
James the Fourth on 6th January 1494; 6 and in the following 
month Walter resigned, with his tutor's consent, all or most of the 
lands gifted to him by his father, Earl Malise, to his nephew, Earl 

! Old Inventory in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 2 Ibid. 3 Ibid. 

4 Registrum Magni Sigilli, Lib. xii. No. 102. 5 Ibid. Lib. xiii. No. 147. 


Alexander ; but the lands of Kilbride having been recognoseed 
by the Crown because granted without the consent of the King, 
from whom they were held in chief, Earl Alexander, by charter 
dated 14th May 1510, bestowed on his uncle some of the lands he 
formerly held, equal in value to the lands of Kilbride. This charter 
was confirmed by King James the Fourth on 3d February 1511-1 2. 1 

Walter received another charter from Earl Alexander on 26th 
July 1518, of the lands of Glassford, Discheratoyre, Blarerusskan- 
more, and Blarequhopill ; 2 and in 1521, whatever right may have 
remained to him in the lands of Kilbride was assumed by his 
grandnephew, William, Master of Menteith, who served upon 
him a premonition for their redemption, and further intimated 
his intention of redeeming the lands of Lochton, Inchre, Myln- 
toun, and Kirktoun of Aberfoyle, Bofreslie, Bonente, Downans 
and Daleth, Gartlamanbege, Gartlochrame and Gyrechat, granted 
by Earl Alexander in 1510. 3 

Walter Graham married Marjory Campbell, probably a daughter 
of his tutor, Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy, and was ancestor 
of the Grahams of Boquhaple. A precept was granted on 17th 
June 1523 by William Balfour of Buchopill for the conjoint infeft- 
ment of Walter and Marjory in the five merk lands of Drongy, 
called Gartinsalze and Blareholich, and twenty-five shillings 
lands of the Bra of Buchquhopill, in the Stewartry of Menteith. 4 
• Walter must have died before the 26th February 1524-5, as on 

1 Eegistrum Magni Sigilli, Lib. xviii. 3 Original Instrument of Sasine in Charter- 
No. 8. chest of Duke of Montrose. 

2 Original Charter in Charter-chest of Duke 4 The Stirlings of Keir, by William Fraser, 
of Montrose. p. 321. 


that day Alexander, Earl of Menteith, at Inchruahome, granted a 
precept of dare constat in favour of Thomas Graham his son, 
appointing him to be infeft in the lands mentioned in the charter 
granted to his father in 151 8. 1 

Thomas Graham, called of Boquhaple, married Cristina Oliphant. 
He obtained, in 1541, the lands of Calzemuk and Balfour Boqu- 
haple, in 1556 half of the lands of Wester Torrie, and about 1560 
the lands of Bray of Cessintully and Balnadornok, the charter of 
which was confirmed in 1562 after his death. 2 His son, George 
Graham, was infeft in 1562 in the lands of Boquhaple, 3 and in 
1576 was served heir to his father in the lands of Blairgarry, in 
the earldom of Menteith. He was succeeded by his son, Thomas 
Graham of Boquhaple, in 1605, 4 whose son, William Graham, fiar 
of Boquhaple, acquired the lands of Wester Boquhaple, 5 and on 
28th April 1625, with consent of Margaret Stirling his spouse, for 
a sum of money renounced the lands of Glassford, Discheratoyre, 
Blairruskanmore, and Blairquhople, given by Earl Alexander to 
AValter Graham of Lochtoun, his " f oir grandsir father," in favour of 
William, seventh Earl of Menteith, of whom he immediately held 
the lands. 6 The Boquhaple line has not been further investigated. 
6. Lady Euphame Graham, who married Sir William Stewart of 
Dalswinton, is supposed to have been a daughter of Earl Malise. 
She survived her husband, and was alive in October 1495. 7 

1 Original Precept. 4 Index of Retours, Perthshire,Nos. 3S, 146. 

2 Eegistrum Magni Sigilli, Kb. xxx. No. 5 Registrum Magni Sigilli, Lib. liii. No. 16. 
551 ; xxxi. 354, 472 ; xxxii. 530. c Original Instrument in Charter-chest of 

3 Old Inventory of Menteith Writs, at Duke of Montrose. 

Buchanan. 7 Acta Dominorum Concilii, p. 401. 



and MARGARET BUCHANAN, his Countess 

1490 — 1537. 

EARL MALISE was succeeded in 1490 in the earldom of Menteith 
by his grandson, Alexander Graham. Considerable difficulty has been 
experienced in ascertaining which of the sons of Earl Malise was the 
father of Earl Alexander, but the evidence points to Patrick Graham, 
the third son, as the most probable. Genealogists generally have con- 
sidered Earl Alexander as the son of Alexander, eldest son of Earl 
Malise, and similarity of name gives some colour to the hypothesis ; but 
it is not reconcilable with the evidence of the charter granted by Earl 
Malise to his son and heir John, of the lands of Kilbride, as, if a son of 
Alexander's existed, John, who was younger than Alexander, could not 
have been the heir-apparent of Earl Malise. For a similar reason Alexander 
could not have been the son of John the Grahame, as, apparently after 
the decease of the latter, the designation of son and heir is given 
to Patrick Graham, the third son of Earl Malise. 1 The whole evidence 
points to the conclusion that Earl Alexander was the son of Patrick Graham. 
Robert Buchanan of Leny, a grandson of Earl Alexander, about the year 
1560, wrote a short narrative of his ancestry, which he sent to Sir James 

1 In the instrument of sasine of Patrick 
Graham, on 8th October 1478, in the lands 
of Cragwchty and Auchmor, the bailie of Earl 
Malise, who gave infeftment, is called John 
Graham of Kilbride. He must have been a dif- 

ferent person from either of the two brothers 
of Patrick of the name of John. At the date 
of this infeftment the elder John Graham was 
dead, and the younger John was not of age 
in 1478, as he was under a tutor in 1494. 


Stirling, Laird of Keir. It suffices here to refer no further back than to Patrick 
Buchanan of Leny, who married the Laird of Buchanan's daughter. Their 
son having been slain while hunting, the inheritance passed on Patrick's 
death to his youngest brother Eobert, another brother, John, having been 
killed at Hodden without leaving heirs. Eobert married Marion Graham, 
the Earl of Menteith's daughter, of whom the writer says, " the Laird of 
Buchquhananes doctir wes hir mothir; me Lord Grahame's doctir hir 
grandam, Lady Buchquhanane ; me Lord Erskine's doctir hir vthir guidame, 
Countess of Menteith. To conclude," he adds, " I, Eobert Buchquhanane of 
Lany that ringis now, sone to Eobert and Marion Grahame, I am cheif of 
the avid family of Lany." 1 

In 1490, Earl Alexander entered into a contract with William, Lord 
Graham, in which the latter, as superior of the lands of Eilpont, bound 
himself to see that these lands were held blench by Earl Alexander. 2 

Although Earl Malise died in 1490, Earl Alexander was not infeft in the 
earldom until the 6th of May 1493. His infeftment took place on the shore 
of the Lake of Inchmahome, near the Coldon, and upon the ground of the 
lands of Port. 3 This delay may have been either on account of Earl 
Alexander's being under age, or more probably on account of the part taken 
by his grandfather in the struggle between King James the Third and his 
son, now King James the Fourth, as for a time those who had opposed 
the Prince were treated with disfavour. 

After the death of Eaid Malise a litigation arose about the lands of 
Kilbride, which were claimed by Earl Alexander as heir of his grandfather. 
The lands had formerly been held from the Crown by Earl Malise, who, in 

1 The Stirlings of Keir, by William Fraser, p. 415. 

2 Old Inventory in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 

3 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 302. 


1469, resigned them into the King's hands for a regrant to his son John the 
Graham; but on the latter's death they reverted to Earl Malise. In 1 474 there 
was a cause pending before the Lords Auditors between the Earl of Menteith 
and James Muschet of Tolgart, 1 and on 7th May 1487 the latter received 
from King James the Third a charter of apprising of the lands of Kilbride, 2 
by virtue of which Muschet afterwards alleged that the lands belonged to 
him, as it had been granted for a certain debt of Malise, Earl of Menteith. 8 
On 27th February 1491-2, the tenants of Kilbride raised an action against 
James Muschet for uplifting the mails of the whole of Kilbride, and against 
Margaret Muschet, spouse of the deceased John the Graham, for uplifting 
the third part, in which the right of the latter was upheld because of her 
terce, but the action of James Muschet was condemned. 4 Upon this James 
Muschet required the Sheriff of Perth to be ordained to show on what 
grounds Margaret Muschet had obtained herself served heir to the terce 
of Kilbride. 5 On 24th June 1492, Alexander Graham, as heir to the late 
Earl Malise, produced the charter by James the Third to John the Graham, 
and protested that the proceedings should not prejudice his rights ; 6 and 
on the 5th July following, Patrick, Earl of Bothwell, appeared before the 
Council and protested that the lands of Kilbride were a tenandry of Bothwell, 
and held of him in chief. 7 

After he obtained the earldom of Menteith, Alexander granted a charter 
of the lands of Kilbride to his uncle, Walter Graham of Lochtoun, on a letter 
of reversion ; and this charter was confirmed by King James the Fourth on 
6th January 1494. 8 Notwithstanding the confirmation, the King followed 

1 Acta Dominorum Autlitorum, p. 36. 5 Acta Dominorum Concilii, p. 214. 

2 Registrum Magni Sigilli, Lib. x. No. 132. 8 ibid. p. 23S. 7 Hid. p. 241. 

3 Acta Dominorum Concilii, p. 241. 8 Registrum Magni Sigilli, Lib. xiv. No. 

4 Ibid. p. 213. 324. 


out a process of recognition of the lands, and the Lords of Council, on the 
27th February 1508-9, gave their judgment in favour of the King as 
follows : — 

Decretis and deliueris that Alexander, Erie of Menteithe, and all vytheris havand 
or traistand to haf entres to the landis of Kilbride, with, the pertinentis, has tynt 
thair properte and possession thairof, and decernis the samyn to pertene till our 
souerane lord, and to be disponit at his plesour in tyrne tocum ; becaus the mast part 
of the saids landis are analyt without license, consent, or confirmation of our souerane 
lord, thai beand hald of his grace immediately be seruice of ward and releif, for the 
quhilk cause thai war recognost in our souerane lordis handis, and nocht lettin to borgh 
the space of ane zeir and ane day efter the said recognition being past ; and alsua 
becaus it was allegit be the said Alexander that the saids landis of Kilbrid war gevin 
to his forbearis be our souerane lord, to be hald of his hienes, when the erldome of 
Menteithe was gevin to thaim in contentation for the erldome of Stratherne, and 
falzeit to preif the samyn at the terme assignit to him thairto : Our souerane lord, 
comperand be Master James Henrison, his aduocat, and the saide Alexander, Erie of 
Stratherne (Menteith), being personally present, and all vytheris havand or traistand 
to haf entres to the saids landis being lachfully summoned to this action, oftentimes 
callit and nocht comperit. 1 

After this decision the lands of Kilbride were acquired by Sir Harry 
Schaw, 2 who granted a letter of reversion, whereby it was in the power of 
the King, or Earl Alexander and his heirs, to redeem the lands on payment 
of one thousand merks. In 1521 the Earl acted upon this privilege, and 
served premonitions of his intention to redeem the lands upon all having 
right or interest in them. These included the heirs of the late Sir 
Harry Schaw, David Schaw his son, and Marion Forrester his widow, 
and Earl Alexander's eldest son and heir, William, Master of Menteith, 

1 Acta Domiuorum Concilii. 2 Registrum Magni Sigilli, Lib. xviii. No. 8. 

VOL. 1. 2 Q 


served a premonition upon his granduncle, Walter Graham of Lochtoun. 1 
In 1522 Earl Alexander received a charter from King James the Fifth of two 
parts of Kilbride, and was infeft therein. The remaining third continued in 
the possession of the representatives of Sir Harry Schaw, evidently as the 
terce of his widow, Marion Forrester, until it also was redeemed by Earl 
Alexander hi 1528 from the heirs of Sir Harry Schaw and James Drummond, 2 
and he completed his title to this third by another charter from King James 
the Fifth, dated 2d February 1531. 3 

Alexander, Earl of Menteith, sat as one of the King's Council at Stirling, 
on 25th August 1495. 4 On 22d January 1499 he was pursuer in an action 
before the Lords of Council against Alexander Campbell of Ardoch, Donald 
Campbell his son, William Sellar in the Greenyairds, and Sir Alexander 
Cuningham of Polmais, for the theft of nine oxen and ky and two mares from 
him, and in default of appearing they were condemned, and ordered to 
restore the property, with costs. 5 He joined in a bond, made on 27th May 
1501, between King James the Fourth and a number of his subjects who 
possessed lands in Perthshire, for the bringing of criminals to justice ; 6 and 
on 20th November 1503 he entered into an indenture for mutual defence 
with James, Earl of Arran, Lord Hamilton. 7 

The lands of Kinpont and Illieston were held by Earl Alexander from 
William, Earl of Montrose, and as, in 1508, there were some indications of 
the King's intention to recognosce them to the Crown, an obligation was 
granted by the Earl of Montrose to the Earl of Menteith, on the 14th 

1 Old Inventory of Menteith Charters, 3 RegistrumMagniSigilli, Lib. xxiv.No.179. 
drawn up by William, seventh Earl of * Acta Dominorum Concilii, p. 3S5. 
Menteith, in Charter-chest of Duke of Mon- 6 Acta Dominorum Concilii, anno 1499. 
trose. 6 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 303. 

2 Old Inventory of Charters at Buchanan. 7 Ibid. p. 306. 


February of that year, in terms of the arrangement of 1490, that if the 
threatened recognition did take place, he would redeem the lands, and infeft 
the Earl of Menteith again in them, to be held by him and his heirs as before 
in free blench farm. 1 The lands eventually remained in the possession of 
Earl Alexander. 

In 1512 Earl Alexander paid a visit to Rossdhu, where, on 1 3th July, 
he disponed to Sir John Colquhoun of Luss the lands of the two Craance and 
Cragwchty, in the parish of Aberfoyle. 2 In the same year he granted a 
charter to William Haldane to be boatman at the head of Forth. 3 His 
charters to his uncle Walter Graham and his cousin Thomas Graham have 
been noticed in the previous memoir under Walter Graham of Lochtoun. 

To his only brother, Henry Graham, Earl Alexander granted at Inchma- 
home, on 1 6th October 1510, half of the lands of Gardenycht or Auchmore, 
in return for a sum of money, and the Earl personally infeft him in the 
lands on the following day. 4 In 1534, shortly before his death, the Earl, 
for the love he bore to " his beloved only brother-german, Henry Graham," 
ratified and confirmed this infeftment to him and his heirs, together with a 
lease of the other half, for a period of nineteen years, and whatever other 
lands or gifts he had given to him besides these. The confirmatory instru- 
ment bears to have been written in the " court (or hall) of the monastery of 
St. Colmoc, in the island called Inchmaquhomok." 5 

Earl Alexander married Margaret Buchanan, daughter of Walter 
Buchanan of Buchanan, and by her he had, so far as known, two sons and 
a daughter. Walter Buchanan held the office of bailie on the earldom of 
Menteith, but renounced it on 6th December 1519 in favour of Earl 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 307. 2 Ibid. p. 309. 

3 Original Inventory in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 

4 Original Charter and Instrument, ibid. 6 Original Instrument. 


Alexander and his grandson William, but reserving to himself the enjoy- 
ment of the office during the remainder of his life. 1 

The Earl was present in Parliament on 10th July 1525, 2 and he is last 
mentioned as ratifying his brother Henry's charters in October 1534 at 
Inchmahome. He probably died in 1536 or 1537. The names of his 
children are : — 

1. William Graham, Master of Menteith, Lord Kilpont, who succeeded 

his father in the earldom. 

2. Walter Graham, who was a witness to the instrument of sasine of 

the earldom of Menteith in favour of his elder brother, is said 
to be the ancestor of the Grahams of Gartur, in the parish of 
Port, who made claim to be the heirs-male and representatives of 
the Graham Earls of Menteith. John Graham, the last male 
representative of the Gartur line, died in 1818, and was buried 
in the Priory of Inchmahome. A marble tablet to his memory 
is placed in the inside of the north wall. From this Walter 
Graham the Grahams in Shannochiel, in the parish of Port, also 
claim descent. A pedigree of that family, now represented by 
Charles Graham Stirling, Esq. of Craigbarnet, in the county of 
Stirling, is given in a cognate work. 3 

3. Marion, married to Kobert Buchanan of Leny. 4 

1 Original Instrument in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 

2 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 292. 

3 The Stirlings of Keir, by William Fraser, pp. 127-136. 4 Ibid. p. 415. 



MARGARET MOUBEAY, his Countess. 


WILLIAM GRAHAM, the eldest son of Earl Alexander, succeeded his 
father as Earl of Menteith, and was infeft in the earldom on the 
lands of Ernchome, near the shore of the lake of Inchmahome, on 1 6th May 
1537. 1 

Previous to 16th June 1521, William Graham, Master of Menteith and 
Lord of Kilpont, married Margaret Moubray, a daughter of John Moubray 
of Bambougle ; and, probably to provide themselves in a home, they, as 
assignees of Earl Alexander, took advantage of a letter of reversion made 
by Walter Graham of Lochtoun to Alexander, Earl of Menteith, whereby 
the latter or his heirs could redeem, for a sum of five hundred merles, 
the lands of Lochtoun, with the island thereof, the Mylntoun and Kirktoun 
of Aberfoyle, and other lands. To effect this, they caused their procurator, 
Thomas Graham, proceed to the parish church of Aberfoyle, and in the time 
of high mass warn Walter Graham and all others interested to appear on 
the last day of July following, at the high altar in the parish church of 
the Holy Cross of Stirling, and there receive from William and Margaret, 
or their procurators, the sum of money stated for the redemption of the 
lands. A notarial instrument instructs that the requisition was duly made. 2 

In the same year also he took steps, along with his father Earl Alexander, 
to effect the redemption of the lands of Kilbride from his father's uncle, the 
1 Original Instrument in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 2 Original Instrument, ibid. 


same Walter Graham, by the issue of a premonition ; x and about that time 
he and his spouse, Margaret Moubray, were infeft in several lands in 
Menteith. 2 A few years later, in 1528, in conjunction with his father, he 
redeemed the lands of Crantulliche and Glaschyle from Lord Drummond, 
into whose possession they had probably come by mortgage; 3 and in 1534 
he obtained the lands of Boquhaple and Drongy from the laird, Eobert 
Norie, by a charter, 4 which was confirmed by King James the Fifth on 
16th February 1536, 5 in which year William was also infeft in the lands. 6 

In 1537, when infeft in the earldom of Menteith, he had separate sasines 
of the lands of Kilpont and two parts of the lands of Kilbride. 7 Shortly 
after his succession to the earldom, on 14th May 1539, this Earl, as superior 
of the lands of Illieston, granted a precept for the infeftment of James, Earl 
of Arran, in these lands. 8 

With the exception of these few transactions in connection with the 
lands of Menteith, very little is on record concerning this Earl. He is men- 
tioned as being present in Parliament on 10th December 1540, and as having 
appended his seal to two important measures passed by that convention, 9 
but nothing further is known of his life. 

The death of the Earl was somewhat tragical. It occurred in the year 
1543 or 1544, under the following circumstances: — An expedition of the 
Stewarts of Appin, under the command of Donald the Hammerer, Tutor of 
Appin, returning from Stirlingshire through the lands of Menteith, reached 
a house where a wedding feast had been prepared, to which the Earl of 

1 Old Inventory of Menteith Papers in 6 Old Inventory of Menteith Papers, ut 
Charter-Chest of Duke of Montrose. supra. 

2 Another Old Inventory, ibid. 7 Ibid. 

3 Ibid. 4 Ibid. 8 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 311. 

5 Registrum Magni Sigilli, Lib. xxv. No. 9 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 

282. vol. ii. pp. 355, 404, 405. 


Menteith had been invited. The opportunity offered for appeasing their 
hunger proved too much for the Stewarts, who, regardless of consequences, 
devoured all the viands and proceeded on their way. The Earl of Menteith 
and his party arrived soon afterwards, and, unable to stifle their indigna- 
tion at the insult thus offered them, at once set off in pursuit. They 
overtook the offenders at Tobanareal, a spring on the summit of the ridge 
which separates Menteith from Strathgartney, between Loch Katrine and the 
Lake of Menteith. A sanguinary engagement ensued, in which the Earl 
and nearly all his followers were slain, while Donald Stewart is said to have 
escaped under cover of night with only a single follower. 1 

By his Countess Margaret, who survived him, Earl William had five sons 
and one daughter. 

1. John Graham, Master of Menteith and Lord Kilpont, who succeeded 

his father in the earldom. 

2. Andrew Graham, who, in 1547, received the lands of Boquhaple 

from his brother John, Earl of Menteith, and was infeft therein. 2 
He appears to have died in the same year, unmarried. 

3. Bobert Graham. In 1547 he was infeft in the lands of Wester 

Boquhaple by his brother John, fourth Earl of Menteith, from 
whom he received a liferent gift of the lands. 3 They were sold 
by Eobert to his brother-in-law, Archibald, Earl of Argyll, and 
Colin Campbell, son of the Earl and his Countess, Margaret 
Graham ; and a precept for a charter of confirmation of the 
charter of alienation and sale was granted on 29th August 1553. 4 

1 Captain Burt's Letters, by Robert Jamie- 4 Registrum Secreti Sigilli, vol. xxvi. fol. 4. 
son, Esq., F.S.A., vol. i. p. Ixxiii. The reason of this transaction is explained by 

2 Old Inventory of Menteith Papers in documents in the Charter-chest of the Duke 
Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. of Argyll, which show that in embarrassed 

3 Ibid. circumstances Robert Norie of Boquhaple 


On 23d May 1547, Robert Graham acquired by charter from 
Alexander Makawlay of Erngabill the two merk land of Gartmore, 
to be held by him and the heirs of his body, whom failing, by 
Gilbert Graham, his brother-german, and his heirs whomsoever. 
The charter is dated at Inchmahome, one of the witnesses being 
"Jacobo Bad, canonico professo dicti monastery." 1 On 3d 
May 1554, a charter of sale was granted by Walter M c Awlay 
of Gartmore to Eobert Graham, brother-german of John, Earl 
of Menteith, and the heirs of his body ; whom failing, to Gilbert 
Graham and the heirs of his body ; whom failing, to the 
nearest heirs of Eobert whomsoever, of the twelve merk land 
of old extent of Gartmore. Among the witnesses are Gilbert 
Graham, brother-german of John, Earl of Menteith, and Malise 
Graham, not designed. 2 This charter was confirmed by Queen 
Mary on 24th January following. 3 Eobert Graham married 
Elizabeth Erskine, and on 19th June 1563 a charter of resigna- 
tion was granted by Queen Mary to Eobert Graham of Gartmore, 

had sold his lands of Easter and Wester Menteith, her right to a reversion granted 
Boquhaple at different times to William, to her father by Margaret, Countess of Men- 
third Earl of Menteith, when Master of teith, for redemption of the four merk land of 
Menteith, to Countess Margaret, and to Wester Boquhaple-Nory, in the stewartry of 
John Wright in Dunblane, taking letters of Menteith, upon payment of four hundred and 
reversion from each. These reversions were twenty merks Scots. On 14th February 
assigned in July 1550 by John Norie of 1552, Archibald, Earl of Argyll, in liferent, and 
Boquhaple, after the death of Robert Norie, Colin Campbell his sou, in fee, were infeft 
to Archibald, Earl of Argyll. On 29th May in the four merk land of Wester Boquhaple, 
1551, Agnes Norie, daughter and heir to the on a precept of sasine by Robert Graham, 
deceased Robert Norie, with consent of ' Original Charter at Gartmore. 
Robert Buchanan her husband, renounced in 2 Original Charter, ibid. 
favour of Robert Graham, son to the Earl of 3 Original Charter, ibid. 


brother-german of John, Earl of Menteith, and Elizabeth Erskine 
his spouse, in conjunct-fee and liferent, and their heirs, whom 
failing, to the heirs of the said Robert whomsoever, of the half 
of the twelve merk land of Gartmore. 1 This was followed by a 
precept of the same date for their conjunct infeftment in the 
lands of Gartmore. 2 Again, on 2 2d April 1568, King James the 
Sixth granted a charter to Eobert Graham of Gartmore, and 
Elizabeth Erskine his spouse, in conjunct-fee and liferent, and 
the heirs of Eobert; whom failing, the heirs of the body of 
Gilbert Graham, brother-german of Eobert; whom all failing, 
to the heirs of Eobert whomsoever, of the twelve merk land of 
Gartmore. 3 Eobert Graham died in May 1572, apparently 
without issue, as his nephew, William Graham, was the heir 
of entail. Eobert was survived by his wife, Elizabeth Erskine. 
4. Gilbert Graham, frequently mentioned in the Gartmore charters to 
Eobert Graham as his brother-german. In a back-tack or lease 
granted by him to John Blackader of Tulliallan and Margaret 
Haccarsoun his spouse, of part of the lands of Tulliallan, on 
27th April 1551, he calls himself "Gilbert Grahame, brother- 
germane to ane nobill and mychty lord, Johnne, Erll of 
Menteyth." 4 He received, on 3d April 1554, a respite for 
nineteen years for the abduction of Isobel Sandilands, lady 
of Gardane, and for treasonable intercommuning with the late 
William, Earl of Glencairn, at the field of Glasgow. 5 

It was probably after the death of the Countess Margaret his 

1 Original Charter at Gartmore. 4 Original Lease in Charter-chest of David 

2 Registrum Seereti Sigilli, Lib. xxxi. Erskiue, Esq. of Cardross. 

p. 122. 5 Registrum Seereti Sigilli, vol. xxvii. fol. 

3 Original Charter at Gartmore 34. 

VOL. I. 2 11 



mother, and Walter Graham his brother, that the lands of Garta- 
vertane-Lindsay came into the hands of Gilbert Graham, who, on 
21st January 1572, resigned them into the hands of the Eegent 
Morton, for a regrant in favour of William his son and apparent 
heir. 1 On the same day William received a Crown Charter of 
the lands, 2 and was infeft in them by virtue of a precept from 
Chancery on 23d March following. 3 

William Graham of Gartavertane, on 25th June 1577, 
obtained a service of himself as heir of taillie to his uncle 
(patruus), Eobert Graham of Gartmore. The retour states that 
he was of lawful age by virtue of the King's letters of dispen- 
sation, and that the lands were now in the hands of Elizabeth 
Erskine, relict of the late Eobert Graham, by reason of her 
conjunct infeftment, and through default of the said William 
not having hitherto prosecuted his claim. 4 In 1573, William, 
fifth Earl of Menteith, was retoured heir of conquest to his uncle, 
Eobert Graham of Gartmore. 5 

William Graham of Gartavertane married Janet Graham. 
They received, on 3d January 1583, a charter by John Drummond 
of Drongy, and Matilda (Mawsie) Graham his wife, of the 
lands of Wester Gartavertane, to be held by them in conjunct- 
fee and liferent, and their heirs, whom failing, by the heirs 
whomsoever of William. William Graham died about the year 
1589, leaving a young son, Eobert; and before 1591, Janet 
Graham, Lady Gartmore, his widow, was married to Colin 

1 Original Instrument at Gartmore. 

2 Original Charter, ibid. 

3 Original Instrument of Sasine, ibid. 

4 Original Retour at Gartmore. 

5 Original Retour, ibid. 

6 Original Charter, ibid. 


Campbell (perhaps of Ardbeith). 1 Eobert probably only arrived 
at lawful age in 1606, when, on 27th May, he was retoured 
heir to his father, William Graham of Gartmore, in the twelve 
merk land of old extent of Gartmore, with the pendicle called 
the Bad, the four merk land of Gartavertane-Lindsay, and 
the western half of the lands of Gartavertane, called Thomlag, 
all in the Stewartry of Menteith. 2 

On 9th October 1634, Agnes Graham was retoured heir to 
her father, Eobert Graham of Gartmore, in the same lands. 3 She 
married John Alexander, a younger son of William, Earl of 
Stirling, and in 1636 disponed the lands to that Earl. They 
afterwards passed into the hands of Charles Alexander, brother 
of Henry, Earl of Stirling, and brother-in-law to Agnes Graham. 
He sold them to the Grahams in 1644, William Graham of 
Polder being the purchaser for thirteen thousand, three hundred 
merks Scots. 4 This William Graham by letters of apprising 
against Katharine, Jeane, and Margaret Alexander, daughters 
and heirs-of-line of William, Lord Alexander, and grand- 
daughters and apparent heirs-of-line to the late William, Earl of 
Stirling, was, on 29th January 1645, adjudged the rightful pro- 
prietor of the lands, 5 and was infeft in them on 30th September 
1652. 6 William Graham of Polder, on 28th June 1665, was 
created a Baronet under the title of Sir William Graham of Gart- 
more, with limitation to the heirs-male of his body, and the lands 

1 Registrum Secreti Concilii, anno 1591. i Original Documents of Sale at Gartmore. 

2 Index of Special Eetours, Perthshire, No. . . 

° Original Letters, ibid. 
161. 8 

3 Ibid. No. 437. 6 Original Instrument, ibid. 


of Gartmore, Gartavertane-Lindsay, Tomaclag, and Spittal, were, 
in 1672, erected into the barony of Gartmore. 1 

5. Walter Graham. On 16th May 1545, John Buchanan of Garta- 

vertane granted to Margaret Moubray, Countess of Menteith, in 
liferent, and Walter Graham her son, and his heirs, in fee, a 
charter of the lands of Gartavertane, in the Stewartry of Menteith. 
A charter by Queen Mary, under the Privy Seal of Scotland, 
confirmed this grant on 20th May ; and following on a precept 
of sasine by John Buchanan, of the same date as his charter, 
Countess Margaret and her son Walter were infeft in the lands 
on 22d May 1545. 2 One of the bailies for the infeftment was 
Andrew Graham. A new infeftment of Countess Margaret and 
her son Walter in these lands was made on 26th July 1548 ; 3 
but after that date nothing further is on record concerning 
Walter Graham, and the lands of Gartavertane are afterwards 
found in possession of his brother Gilbert. 

6. Margaret Graham. She became the second wife of Archibald, 

fourth Earl of Argyll, on 21st April 1541, the marriage having 
been celebrated in the Priory of Inchmahome by a chaplain, 
as shown in the account of the Priory in a subsequent chapter. 
A charter of confirmation was granted by King James the Fifth 
on 27th April 1543, to Lady Margaret Graham and the heirs 
of her marriage with Archibald, Earl of Argyll, of certain lands 
in the shires of Argyll and Clackmannan. 4 Their son, Colin 
Campbell, succeeded his father as Earl of Argyll. 

1 Original Charter at Gartmore. 3 Original Instrument at Gartmore. 

2 Original of these four Documents, ibid. 4 Eegistrum Magni Sigilli, Lib. xxix. No. 11. 



MARION SETON, his Countess. 


JOHN GRAHAM succeeded his father as Earl of Menteith in 1544, and 
as such sat in Parliament and Privy Council, but he was not infeft in 
the earldom till the 26th May 1547, although for the purpose of implementing 
a contract made between Earl William and James Stirling of Keir he granted, 
on 7th April 1544, a procuratory for haviug himself served heir to his father 
in the half lands of Lany and Petquhonderty, and infeft therein, in order to 
his resigning them again in favour of Janet Buchanan, one of the heirs of 
the late Patrick Buchanan of Lany. 1 

He was infeft in the same year in the lands of Kilpont and Illieston, 2 
was retoured heir to his father in the earldom in 1546, 3 and in the following 
year, when his infeftment in the earldom took place, he received sasine of 
the lands of Kilbride, with the mill thereof, the two and a half merit lands of 
Wester Boquhaple, and the third part of the five rnerk land of Drongy. 4 In 
the same year he bestowed the lands of Boquhaple upon his brother Andrew, 
and on the latter's death, apparently in that year, he infeft another brother, 
Robert Graham, afterwards of Gartmore, in the same lands. 5 The lands of 
Kilpont he granted to his Countess, Marion Seton, in liferent, and they 

1 The Stirlings of Keir, by William Fraser, p. 381. 

2 Old Inventory of Menteith Papers, in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 

:! Ibid. * Original Instrument of Sasine, ibid. 5 Original Inventory, ibid. 



were confirmed to her in 1550. 1 A signature of the whole of Kilbride was 
granted to the Earl and his Countess in 1558. 2 

Earl John satin Parliament in 1545, both in its meeting at Stirling in 
June, when he pledged himself along with the governor and the rest of the 
nobility to proceed with the King of France against the " auld inimy " of 
England, and at Linlithgow in October. 3 He was present at a meeting of 
Privy Council in the following February, 4 and at another meeting on 17th 
March 1546, he subscribed one of their Acts passed for the protection of 
Queen Mary's heralds, pursuivants, and other messengers, who, from the 
nature of their work, frequently got a very unwelcome reception. 5 

John, Earl of Menteith, was one of the Scottish nobles who accompanied 
the young Queen Mary to France. She had found temporary protection in 
the island of Inchmahome in the Lake of Menteith, in close proximity to the 
Earl's residence on Inchtalla, and the Earl was now honoured to be one of 
her guardians during the voyage. They embarked at Dumbarton early in 
August 1550, and the voyage only occupied a few days. The Earl of 
Menteith probably returned to Scotland with the Queen Dowager, as he 
was present with her at meetings of the Privy Council at Stirling on 20th 
March 1552, again at Perth on 19th July 1553, 6 and he subscribed the bond 
granted by the Queen Dowager on 12th April 1554 to the Duke of 
Chatelherault, on the latter's demission of the regency. 7 He received from 
Queen Mary, Dowager, on 16th August 1554, a commission as justiciar 
over both the earldom and the Stewartry of Menteith. 8 

1 Original Inventory in Charter-cheat of 
Duke of Montrose. 2 Ibid. 

3 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 
vol. ii. pp. 455, 595. 

4 Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, 
vol. i. p. 22. 

5 Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, 
vol. i. p. 60. 

6 Ibid. pp. 119, 141. 

7 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 
vol. ii. p. 003. 

8 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 313. 


He sat again in a Parliament held by the Queen Eegent at Edinburgh 
in November 1558, 1 but in the following year, becoming displeased with her 
conduct, he forsook her party and joined the Lords of the Congregation. He 
took this step when the army of the Congregation lay before Perth, and 
was present at the surrender of that town in June 1559. 2 With the rest of 
the Lords of the Congregation, on 10th September, at Hamilton, he joined 
in a letter of remonstrance to the Queen Eegent for allowing the French 
to fortify Leith ; 3 and subscribed with them, at Stirling, on 24th December, 
an extended commission to Secretary Lethington, then in London, for 
maintaining negotiations with Queen Elizabeth ; and in the following 
February, subscribed the treaty of Berwick, whereby Queen Elizabeth pledged 
herself to assist the Lords of the Congregation in driving the French out of 
Scotland, while these Lords in return promised to send succour into England 
should the French invade that kingdom. The Earl of Menteith gave his 
second son George as one of the hostages for the observance of the treaty. 4 

He adhered faithfully to the Lords of the Congregation, and was one of 
the leaders of their army at the siege of Leith in 1560. After the death of 
the Queen Eegent and the restoration of peace, he sat in the Parliament 
of 1560, which established the Eeformation, and ratified the Scots Confession, 5 
and was nominated among the twenty-four noblemen, of whom twelve 
were to be chosen, as members of the Privy Council. 6 When the Scottish 
Parliament sent their proposal to Queen Elizabeth that she should marry 
the Earl of Arran, eldest son of the Duke of Chatelherault, he adhibited Ins 
name. 7 Although not a member of the Privy Council, he was present at 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 6 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 
vol. ii. p. 503. vol. ii. p. 525. 

2 Calderwood's History, vol. i. p. 470. 6 Tytler's History of Scotland, vol. v. p. 14S. 

3 Ibid. p. 518. 7 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 

4 Ibid. pp. 578, 581. vol. ii. p. 606. 


one of its meetings in the following year, 1 and about the same time 
subscribed the first Book of Discipline. 2 

John, Earl of Menteith, seems to have been alive at the end of June 
1564, and to have been present in the General Assembly held in that month, 
as on a complaint by some labourers of the ground about the rigorous 
exactiou of the tithes, the Earl of Menteith promised, with other noblemen 
and lairds, to be content with either money or victual. 3 He died, however, 
in that year, as at the infeftment of his son and heir on 20th November 1571, 
the earldom is said to have been in the hands of King James the Sixth and 
his mother, Queen Mary, for the space of seven years and a term. 4 

By his marriage with Marion Seton, daughter of John, fifth Lord Seton, 
and Elizabeth Hay, daughter of John, Lord Yester, John, Earl of Menteith, 
had two sons and two daughters. After the Earl's death Countess Marion 
married John, tenth Earl of Sutherland, as his third wife, and with him 
was poisoned in July 1567, at Helmsdale in Sutherland, by Isabel Sinclair, 
the wife of Gilbert Gordon of Gartay, at the instigation, it is said, of George 
Sinclair, Earl of Caithness. 5 

The names of Earl John's children were : — 

1 . William Graham, Master of Menteith, Lord Kilpont, who succeeded 

his father in the earldom. 

2. George Graham, ancestor of the Grahams of Eednoch. He was 

one of the hostages given by the Lords of the Congregation to 
Winter, the English admiral, for the observance of the treaty of 
Berwick, and by the terms of the agreement was to remain in 

1 Acts of the Privy Council of Scotland, 4 Original Instrument of Sasine in Charter- 

vol. i. p. 192. chest of Duke of Montrose. 

- Calderwood's History, vol. ii. p. 50. 5 Genealogieai History of the Earldom of 

3 Ibid. p. 282. Sutherland, by Sir Robert Gordon, p. 146. 


England for a period of six months. 1 On 12th December 1579, 
he acquired from Malise Graham, vicar of Aberfoyle, a lease of 
the half of the rents, profits, and emoluments of the vicarage of 
the parish kirk of Aberfoyle, in the earldom of Menteith, during 
his life only, paying therefor yearly £20 Scots. He signed the 
lease as George Graham, brother to my Lord of Menteith. It is 
witnessed by Walter Graham, fiar of Duchray, James Stirling of 
Auchyll, and John Stirling his brother. 2 After the death of his 
elder brother, William, fifth Earl of Menteith, he became tutor- 
in-law to his nephew, John, the sixth Earl, during his nonage, 
and was commonly known as tutor of Menteith. So he styles 
himself and is designated by others, as appears from an obligation 
granted by Sir George Buchanan of Buchanan to him, on 8th 
January 1584, for repayment of a loan of £200 Scots, and from 
the acknowledgment by George Graham of Bednoch, tutor of 
Menteith, for its repayment on 30th June 1585. 3 As tutor of 
Menteith he was cited on 20th January 1585 to appear before 
the Brivy Council, and supply information by which the thefts 
and other crimes then prevalent around Menteith might be 
repressed. 4 He probably died in that year. 

George Graham married and had two sons. James the elder, 
as his son and heir, received charters of confirmation of the 
lands of Easter Bednoch from King James the Sixth, on 12th 
February 1584 and 12th June 1598. 5 

1 Calderwood's History, vol. i. p. 5S1. 4 Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, 

~* Original Lease at Gartmore. vol. iii. j>. 718. 

3 Original in Charter-chest of Duke of 5 Registrum Magni Sigilli, MS. Lib. xxxvi. 

Montrose. No. 116, xli. No. 397. 

VOL. I. 2 S 


After the death of James Graham, his brother John, on 10th 
March 1619, was served heir to him in Easter Eednoch, and also in 
the lands of Mondowie in Stirlingshire, 1 which had been acquired 
by the elder brother in 1603. 2 John Graham of Eednoch had two 
daughters. Marian, the elder, married John Graham of Duchray, 
who obtained through her the lands of Eednoch. Anne, the 
younger daughter, married Alexander Colquhoun of Camstradden. 3 
The lands of Mondowie were granted by John Graham of Eednoch 
to William, Earl of Airth and Menteith, in 1G35. 4 

3. Lady Mary, who married John Buchanan of Buchanan, and was 

commonly known as Lady Buchanan. A precept was granted by 
Queen Mary on 10th November 1561, for confirming a charter 
of alienation, made by the late George Buchanan of that Ilk to 
Mary Graham, elder daughter (seniori filie) of John, Earl of 
Menteith, in liferent, of the lands of Gartfarin, Arrochbeg, Blair, 
and Ardule, in the barony of Buchanan and shire of Stirling. 5 

A gift of the ward of the lands of George Buchanan of 
Buchanan, which comprised the lands of Gartquhorie, Ardbeg, 
Blair, Cassillie, Arrochdaill, Cortcorplay, Stronecluchane, Dow- 
glengyle, Auchedunereith, and Portnellans, was given after his 
decease, on 23d October 1561, to Earl John and his heirs. 6 

4. Lady Christian Graham, who married, before 1553, Sir William 

Livingstone of Kilsyth, 7 and had issue. 

1 Index of Retours, Perthshire, No. 265 ; 4 Original Charter at Gartmore. 
Stirlingshire, No. 96. 5 Kegistrum Seereti Sigilli, Lib. xxx. p. 75. 

2 Original Instrument of Sasine at Gartmore. ° Ibid. p. 56. 

■' ! The Chiefs of Colquhoun, by William 7 Registrum Magni Sigilli, Lib. xxxi. 

Fraser, vol. ii. pp. 204, 205. No. 163. 



MARGARET DOUGLAS (of Dkumlankig), his Countess. 

1564— 1579. 

A CONSIDERABLE time intervened between the death of the fourth Earl 
and the infeftment of his eldest son William, as fifth Earl, in the 
earldom and other lands, owing to the latter not being of lawful age ; but in 
the interval, on 10th April 1565, Queen Mary, by letters under the Privy Seal, 
granted to William Graham, son and heir-apparent to the late John, Earl of 
Menteith, the ward and nonentry, with the mails, farms, profits, and duties 
of all the lands and rights possessed by the late Earl, so long as they lay in 
the hands of the Crown, until the lawful entry of the rightful heir or heirs, 
they being of lawful age ; and likewise granting to him, his heirs and 
assignees, his own marriage, and the profits thereof, or, in the event of his 
death unmarried, the marriage of any heirs male or female that should 
succeed to him or the late Earl in his lands and heritage. In connection 
with this gift a contract was made between Earl William and his mother, 
Lady Marion Seton, by which the latter, with her own money, settled the 
composition with the Queen's treasurer, and in return for this she, and 
failing her, her children, with the exception of William, and Mary Graham 
Lady Buchanan, were entitled to uplift the rents, etc., of the earldom and 
other lands, the heir's expenses being first deducted, until she reimbursed 
herself of the amount expended by her in procuring this gift. 1 

Although still in his nonage, William Graham was acknowledged Earl of 
Menteith, and was appointed one of the commissioners of Parliament to 

1 Original Gift in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 


receive the renunciation and demission by Queen Mary of the sovereign 
authority, and thereafter to inaugurate the young Prince James as King. 1 
He was accordingly present at Stirling on 29th July 1567, the occasion of 
the coronation of King James the Sixth, and executed his commission by 
taking part in receiving the demission by Queen Mary presented by Patrick, 
Lord Lindsay of the Byres, and William, Lord Ruthven, and thereafter 
assisting at the inauguration of the Prince. 2 He was a member of the 
Parliament which sat in December of the same year, and ratified these 
proceedings. 3 After Queen Mary's escape from Lochleven, Earl William 
joined the forces of the Eegent Murray, and was present at the battle of 
Langside on 13th May 1568. 4 He sat in the meeting of the Privy Council 
three days later at Glasgow, 5 and was present at the meeting of Parliament 
held in August of the same year. 6 In the beginning of 1569 he attended the 
meeting of the Council on the return of the Eegent Murray from England, 7 
and also the Convention held at Perth in July of the same year. 8 

On 16th May 1571, at Leith, Earl William, with consent of Peter 
Cornwall of Ballinhard and John Graham of Ballindorane, his curators, 
entered into a marriage-contract with Sir James Douglas of Drumlanrig, 
and Sir William Douglas of Hawick his son, on behalf of Lady Margaret 
Douglas, widow of Edward, Lord Crichton of Sanquhar, by which he was to 
marry that lady. In the event of his dying before her, she was, in 
satisfaction for her terce, to receive in liferent the earldom of Menteith, 

1 Acta of the Parliaments of Scotland, b Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, 
vol. iii. p. 12. vol. i. p. 623. 

2 Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, 6 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 
vol. i. pp. 537, 541. vol. iii. pp. 47-56. 

3 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 7 Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, 
vol. iii. p. 4. vol. i. p. 644. 

4 Calderwood's History, vol. ii. p. 415. 8 Ibid. vol. ii. p. 2. 


and the twenty pound land of old extent of Kilbride, lying in the Stewartry 
of Strathern, until the Earl was lawfully infeft in the fifteen pound lands 
of Kilpont, held by him from John, Earl of Montrose, when he was to 
infeft Lady Margaret therein, and that being done, she became bound to 
give up her claim to the earldom of Menteith. To implement the terms 
of the marriage-contract, a charter was granted by Earl William at his 
residence of Illintuleich, on the 8th of December the same year, and 
thereafter the whole party concerned in the making of the charter proceeded 
to Leith, where it was confirmed by King James the Sixth on the 12th of 
the same month, in presence of the witnesses to the Earl's charter. 1 

Meanwhile steps had been taken to obtain a dispensation from the 
Crown, so that the young Earl might at once enjoy his earldom and lands, 
and this was granted by King James the Sixth (through the Eegent Mar, 
who subscribed the document) at Leith, on 28th October 1571. 2 He was 
accordingly, on the 20th of the following month, infeft in the earldom of 
Menteith, the lands of Kilbride and mill thereof, the two and a half nierk 
land of Wester Boquhaple, and the third part of the five merk land of 
Drongy. 3 Earl William was also infeft in the lands of Kilpont in the 
year 1572. 4 

After the death of his uncle, Eobert Graham of Gartmore, in 1572, the 
Earl, on 6th November 1573, obtained a service to him as heir of con- 
quest, 6 and, on the 27th of the same month, was infeft in the lands of 
Gartmore. 6 These lands, according to the charter, were to descend, in the 
event of the death of Eobert Graham without heirs, to his brother Gilbert 

1 Registrum Magni Sigilli. i Old Inventory in Charter-chest of Duke 

- Original Dispensation in Charter-chest of of Montrose. 5 Original at Gartmore. 

Duke of Montrose. ° Original in Charter-chest of Duke of 

3 Original Instrument of Sasine, ibid. Montrose. 


Graham and his heirs. Gilbert may have predeceased his brother Eobert, 
as he does not appear to have laid claim to the lands, and his son William 
was a minor. The latter was served heir of taillie to his uncle Eobert in the 
lands of Gartmore, and was infeft in them in 1577. 1 By a renunciation of 
one Gilbert Graham, not designed, the Earl obtained possession in 1576 of 
the lands of Gartrenich. 2 

Earl William was about this time employed by King James the Sixth, on 
the advice of the Eegent Morton, to apprehend and try a number of High- 
landers (whose names all began with " Mac ") for theft and reset of theft, and 
received a Commission of Justiciary under the Great Seal, dated at Holy- 
rood, 2d May 1574. 3 After this he is thrice mentioned as a member of the 
Eegent Morton's Council, in February and August 1577/ and once in April 
1578 after the assumption by King James of the regal authority, 5 having 
been appointed one of the councillors extraordinary, who were only summoned 
at the King's pleasure. 6 

In this Earl's time an unhappy feud broke out between the vassals of 
Menteith and those of Walter Lecky of Lecky. The cause from which it 
sprang is said to have been " licht and slendir," yet it had resulted in the 
slaughter of several persons on both sides. The matter came under the notice 
of the Privy Council, who granted time for an amicable arrangement, but the 
result was only a renewed outbreak of hostilities and slaughter, whereupon 
the Council, on 23d May 1577, caused both the Earl of Menteith and Walter 
Lecky to be cited. Sureties being required for the Earl's compearance in 

1 Original Retour and Instrument of Sasine 4 Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, 
at Gartmore. vol. ii. pp. 58S, 591, 622. 

2 Old Inventory in Charter-chest of Duke 5 Ibid. p. C83. 

of Moutrose. 6 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 

3 Original Commission, ibid. vol. iii. p. 119. 

HIS DEATH IN 1579. 327 

February 1578, Hugh, Earl of Eglinton, and George Buchanan of Buchanan 
became bound, under a penalty of £5000, that he would appear before the 
Council on 1st April next, and that he and his servants and dependants 
would keep good rule in the country. 1 

Earl William died in 1579. He married, as already mentioned, Margaret 
Douglas, daughter of Sir James Douglas of Drumlanrig, and widow of 
Edward, Lord Crichton of Sanquhar, and by her, so far as known, he had 
only two sons : — 

1. John Graham, Master of Menteith, Lord Kilpont, who succeeded 

his father in the earldom. 

2. George Graham, who married Grissel, daughter of Henry Stirling 

of Ardoch, and was designed George Graham in Downance, 
brother-german to John, Earl of Menteith. He died before 23d 
June 1619, leaving his widow and a young son John, who at 
that date was under the tutelage of William, seventh Earl of 
Menteith. 2 

1 Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, and her son's right to lands of Downance in 
vol. ii. pp. 612, 672, 729. favour of William, seventh Earl of Menteith, 

- Renunciation by Grissel Stirling of her in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 



MARY CAMPBELL (or Glenokchy), his Countess. 


BY the death of Earl William, when his son and heir was a boy of seven 
or eight years, the earldom of Menteith again became a ward of the 
Crown, and was placed, along with the young Earl, under the guardianship of 
his paternal uncle, George Graham, who was henceforth known as Tutor of 
Menteith. Owing to this Earl being in minority for the greater part of the 
nineteen years during which he was in possession of the earldom, little is 
known of his personal history. On 9th July 1581, John, Earl of Montrose, 
granted a precept of dare constat, declaring John, now Earl of Menteith, 
nearest and lawful heir to William, Earl of Menteith, his great-grandfather, 
who died last vest and seised in the lands of Kilpont and Illieston in 
Linlithgowshire, and instructing his bailies to infeft him in these lands. 1 
Afterwards, in 1597, the Earl of Montrose refused to infeft Earl John, 
and the precept was given by King James the Sixth. 2 

Earl John was retoured heir to his father in the earldom of Menteith in 
1583, s and after the death of his tutor, George Graham, the last mention of 
whom occurs in 1585, and while under another, John Graham of Fintry, Tutor 
of Menteith, 4 steps were taken to procure his infeftment in the earldom. As 

1 Original Precept in Charter-chest of Duke ber 15SG, in which, among others, the Earl of 

of Montrose. Menteith is required to find sureties in £;")000, 

- Old Inventory of Menteith Writs, ibid. and his Tutor, John Graham, in £2000, not to 

'■'• Ibid. permit their tenants to harass those of Lady 

4 Precept by King James the Sixth and Weem. [Appendix to Sixth Report of the 

Lords of the Priv}' Council, dated 3d Decern- Historical Manuscripts Commission, p. 708.] 


at- this time Earl John would not be quite fifteen years of age, letters of 
dispensation were obtained from King James the Sixth, on 7th October 1587, 
by virtue of whicli the Earl, on the 21st of the same month, was served heir 
to his father in the third part of the lands and mill of Kilbride, the liferent 
of which was reserved to his mother, Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of 
Menteith. 1 It was probably on the strength of the same dispensation that he 
was infeft in the earldom, and the lands of Kilbride, Drongy, and Boquhaple. 2 

On 2 2d October in the same year, when he was about fifteen years of 
age, Earl John, with consent of his curators, entered into a contract of 
marriage with Mary Campbell, sister of Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy, who 
paid eight thousand merks as her dowry, 3 and it was arranged that she 
should be infeft in liferent in the lands of Kilpont. 

A lawsuit arose after this between the Earl and the Dowager Countess 
of Menteith, respecting the custody of some of the charters of the earldom. 
These, the Countess alleged, had been committed to her custody by the late 
Earl William her husband, but were now demanded by Earl John and his 
tutor, the Laird of Fintry. 4 A counter action was raised against certain 
parties before the Lords of Privy Council, by Lady Margaret Douglas, 
Dowager Countess of Menteith, for assault and forcibly entering the place 
of Kilwode (Kilbride), which seems to have been in connection with the 
other action, as Earl John was afterwards required to find caution that his 
mother should not suffer injury. He was also put under caution, about the 
same time, that Janet Graham, Lady Gartmore, her son Eobert Graham, and 
her second husband Colin Campbell, should not be molested. 5 

1 Extract Retour printed in Airth Peerage 3 The Black Book of Taymouth, p. 29. 
Minutes of Evidence, 1871, p. 56. 4 Old Inventory of these Charters in 

2 Old Inventory of Menteith Charters in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 
Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 5 Privy Council Record, annis 1587-1591. 

VOL. I. 2 T 


But little more is known of this Earl. He entered' into a mutual bond 
of friendship with Malcolm Macpharlane, fiar of Gartavertane, on 6th 
March 1597, at Downance, in which they pledged themselves to assist one 
another against their enemies, excepting the name of Graham, the King, 
and certain others. 1 He died in December 1598. 2 

By his Countess, Mary Campbell, who, after his death, married Colin 
Campbell of Lundie, 3 whom she also survived, John, Earl of Menteith, had 
one son and one daughter : — 

1. William Graham, Master of Menteith and Lord Kilpout, who 

succeeded him in the earldom. 

2. Lady Christian. She had the right to the equal half of the gift 

of her brother's marriage, and having renounced it in his favour, 
he, on 20th January 1615, executed a deed for payment to her 
of four thousand merks Scots, with certain restrictions, when she 
should "be cled with ane husband." 4 She married Sir John 
Blackader of Tullialan, who was created a Baronet of Nova 
Scotia, by patent dated 28th July 1626. 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 316. 3 Contract of 1618, noticed in Memoir of 

- Extract Retour of William, seventh Earl William, the seventh Earl. 

of Menteith. Printed in Minutes of Evidence 4 Original Assignation in Charter-chest of 

in Airth Peerage Case, 1871, p. 57. Duke of Montrose. 


- w 



BORN 1389. DIED 1671 . 



LADY AGNES GEAY, his Oountkss? 

1598 — 1661. 

BY the death of Earl John at a comparatively early age, while his son 
was only in his boyhood, the earldom of Menteith and the young 
Earl William were left to the care of curators. This was the third instance 
of succession of minors during the possession of the earldom by the Grahams. 
In Earl William's case, there being no uncle or agnate to undertake the 
tutory, his ward was given, in 1598, to his mother, and James and George 
Elphinstone, between whom a contract was made in the same year. In 1600 
the Countess of Menteith disponed the ward to George Balfour, who in turn 
transferred it to her second husband, Colin Campbell of Lundie. 1 

Earl William is said to have been born in 1589, 2 but the true date of 
his birth is probably a year or two later, as in 1610, twenty-one years after- 
wards, when he was retoured heir to his father, he required a dispensation 
from the Crown, on account of his not being of lawful age. 3 Of all the 
Earls of Menteith of the house of Graham, this William, the seventh Earl, 
was the most distinguished in history. From comparative obscurity he rose 
with great rapidity to be the most influential nobleman in his country. 
He enjoyed the unrestricted confidence of his sovereign, by whom honours 
were conferred upon him in quick succession ; but when he had, as it were, 

1 Old Inventory of Menteith Charters, in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 

2 History of the Earldoms of Strathem and Monteith, by Sir Harris Nicolas, p. 29. 

3 Extract Retour printed in Airth Peerage Minutes of Evidence. 1871, p. 57. 


reached the very zenith of his aspirations, the fabric upon which he leaned 
proved unstable, and he suddenly fell to a position lower than that which he 
occupied before his sudden elevation to power. 

On 14th July 1610, the curators of Earl William obtained the letters of 
dispensation mentioned above, for obviating the impediment to his infeft- 
ment in the earldom from his not being of full age, and on the 7th 
August following he was served heir to his father, Earl John. In the 
retour of service he is declared heir to his father in the whole earldom of 
Menteith, the second and third parts of the lands and mill of Kilbride, the 
two and a half merk lands of Boquhaple, and the third part of the five 
merk land of Drongy, 1 and he was duly infeft in these lands in the following 
year. 2 Shortly after this the marriage of the young Earl was arranged, and 
on the 26th of February 1612, and some following days, the terms of a 
contract between him, with consent of Lady Agnes Gray his future 
wife, and her father, Patrick, Lord Gray, on one hand, and Lady Mary 
Campbell, Countess of Menteith, his mother, with consent of Colin Campbell 
of Lundie her husband, on the other, whereby the Countess was infeft in 
liferent in the lands of Kilpont, with certain exceptions. The Earl had 
already bestowed the barony of Kilbride upon Lady Agnes Gray, and in 1 6 1 2 
she was infeft in it. In this year he also granted to her a charter of the 
lands of Kilpont. 3 These lands being then held by his mother, this grant 
gave rise to contention between her and the Earl, and -the latter instituted 
several actions against his mother before the Lords of Council and Session, for 
his entertainment during his minority, for cutting woods, destroying parks and 
growing trees, and intromissions with certain rents. However, matters were 

1 Extract Retour printed in Airth Peerage Minutes of Evidence, 1871, p. 57. 

2 Old Inventory of Menteith Charters, in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 

3 Appendix to Fifth Report of Commissioners on Historical Manuscripts, p. 631. 


amicably arranged by another contract, dated 10th December 1618, and some 
following days, in which the Countess-Dowager (now a widow for the second 
time, her husband, the Laird of Lundie, being dead), out of regard to the 
standing of the house of Menteith and the honour and welfare of her son, 
renounced her liferent and every other right to the lands of Kilpont, in 
return for the sum of seven hundred merks yearly, and the Earl 
obliged himself to terminate all actions at law begun or intended against 
his mother. 1 

About this time Earl William set himself to inspect his charter-chests 
in the Isle of Talla, and he prepared inventories of their contents, which bear 
date 21st April 1618. In these inventories all his writs were not included, as 
the several memoranda following, added to some of them, show : — 

That thair is ane meikle greit quhyt buist within the chartour-kisfc, conteining the 
number of tua hundreth euidentis of the erldome of Mentethe, Gilmertoun, and Drungie, 
quhilk is not inventered. 

That the originall chartour of the erldome of Monteth, with tua vther greit euidentis, 
ar in ane litill coffer bandet with brass, and the key of the same hinging at it, and 
it dois ly abone the boxis quhair the euidentis of Monteth is, within the chartour- 

That thair is ane litill kist bandit all with brass, and the key of the samen is 
hinging at ane of the chartour-kist keyis, quhairintill is all the discharges. 

That thair is the number of ane hundreth and fyftie euidentes lying louss in the 
charter-kist of the lordschipe of Kilpont, quhilk is not inventored. 2 

The Earl also proceeded to consolidate the earldom by redeeming lands 
which had formerly been comprised within it, but had passed into the pos- 
session of others. In 1619 he redeemed the lands of Downance from Grissel 

1 Original Contract in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 2 Old Inventory, Hid. 


Stirling, widow of George Graham his uncle, and John Graham her son, of 
whom he himself was tutor-in-law. 1 In 1624, Gilbert Graham in Eednock 
resigned in the Earl's favour the half lands of Garthreny, the lands of Auch- 
more, Inchie, Gartlonabeg, and Gartlonamore ; 2 and in 1625, Earl William 
reacquired from William Graham of Boquhaple the lands of Glassford, 
Discheratoyre, Blairruskanmore, and Blairquhople, which had been given 
by Earl Alexander more than a century before to the Laird of Boquhaple's 
great-grandfather's father, Walter Graham of Lochtoun, youngest son of 
Earl Malise. 3 

By a commission from King James the Sixth, dated 15th February 1621, 
Earl William was appointed justiciar for one year over the district of Menteith 
for suppressing and punishing crimes of theft, reset of theft, and pykrie, 
which are stated to have become most frequent and common within the 
bounds of the earldom of Menteith. 4 It marks the earnestness with 
which the Earl undertook the duties of this office, that very shortly after 
receiving his commission, he entered into a bond, as he himself describes it, 
with " the haill Stewardis of Boquhidder and Strogartnay," whereby they 
engaged to deliver up to the Earl " all such personis of the name of Steward 
or induellars in the said country as sail committ any thift within his bondis, 
or the bondis of any of his frends or dependars." 5 This office of justiciar 
was, so far as is known, his first appointment under the Crown. 

Some years before, in 1617, when King James was in want of terrier 
dogs for his sport in England, he bethought him of the Earl of Menteith, 
and wrote urgently to John, Earl of Mar, then Treasurer of Scotland, to 
apply to the Earl about them. A similar request was made in 1624, but 

1 Original Instrument in Charter-ehest of Duke of Montrose. 2 Old Inventory, ibid. 

3 Original Proeuratory and Instrument of Resignation, ibid. 

4 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 31S. 5 Old Inventory, ibid. 


the King makes no mention in it of the Earl of Menteith, thus leaving it 
uncertain whether his desires were gratified by the Earl. The two royal 
letters may be given here : — 

James R. 
Righte trustie and righte welbeloued cosen and counsellour, wee greete you well. 
These are moste earnestlie to require you, as yee will do vs moste acceptable seruice and 
procure our exceeding greate contentment, to searche oute and sende vnto vs two couple 
of excellent terrieres or earth dogges, which are both stoute good fox killers, and will 
stay long in the grounde. Wee are crediblie enformed that the Earle of Monteth 
hath good of that kinde, who wee are sure wilbe glade to gratifie vs with them. Some 
also wee had of Hawkertoun, which wee haue loste. If eyther these two aforenamed 
haue anie, or if yee can by your diligence learne where anie other be which are excellent, 
wee pray you sende vs the two couple, to be with vs aboute or shortlie after Michaelmes. 
And assuring our selfe of your carefull diligence herein, whereby yee shall more gratifie 
vs then by a greater mater, wee bid you farewell. Giuen at Houghton Tour, the xvj th 
of Auguste 1617. 

To our righte trustie and righte welbeloued cosen and counsellour, the Earle of 
Mar, our treasurer of our kingdome of Scotland. 

James R. 
Righte trustie and righte welbeloued cosen and counsellour, we greete yow well. 
Whereas wee haue presente occasion to sende into France some of those dogges which 
here they calle terrieres, and in Scotlande they calle earth dogges, wee haue thoughte 
good by these presentes to require yow to employ your beste meanes, both by causing 
Sir George Ereskin to send into Argyle, and yee your selfe sending not onlie thether, 
but also to Glenurquhay and all your other frendes, whereby yee may gette for our vse 
foure or fiue couple of these dogges, aud sende them to vs with all expedition possible, 
and that ye haue a speciall care that the oldest of them be not passing three yeares of 
age, and that yee sende them not all in one shippe, but some in one, and other some in 
another, leaste one shippe shoulde miscarie. And thus requiring yow with all possible 


diligence to aduertyse vs of the receipte of this our letter, and how soone yee thinke to 
satisfie thir our desire, we bid yow farewell. Giuen at Eoyston, the first day of 
Nouember 1624. 

To our righte trustie and righte welbeloued cosen and counsellour, the Earle of 
Mar, our treasorer of our kingdome of Scotlande. 1 

In addition to the civil oversight of the district, Earl William took an 
interest in the spiritual welfare of his tenants. An instance of this occurred 
in connection with the parish of Aberfoyle, of which he was sole heritor. 2 
That parish had been deprived of ordinances for a considerable time ; " quhair 
neuer in no manis memorie leving, thair wes ony resident minister to preatche 
the word of God, nor minister his holie sacramentis, quhairthrow the maist 
pairt of the paroschinneris thairof remanes in great blindnes and ignorance." 
Mr. William Stirling had been presented to the parsonage of Aberfoyle on 
27th August 1571, but he had also the vicarage of Kilmadok, and a manse in 
Dunblane, and to these, in 1574, was added the cure of the parish of Port. 3 On 
29th July 1618, the Earl made an agreement with Adam, Bishop of Dunblane, 
in whose diocese the parish of Aberfoyle lay, whereby he promised to add a 
hundred pounds yearly to the stipend, and thus raise the minister's annual 
salary to three hundred and fifty merks, in addition to the teinds of Boquhaple 
and Drumlean, and the bishop, in consideration of this offer, agreed to resign 
the patronage of the church of Aberfoyle in favour of the Earl. 4 The Bishop 

1 Originals of these two letters in Charter- of Myretoun, anent the teynds of Aberfoyl, 
chest of the Earl of Mar and Kellie. by quhich the said teynds are assign'd to the 

2 Earl William was also possessed of the Earl for three lifetyms and ninten years 
teinds of the parish. In an old Inventory therafter, dated March 21, 1613." 

of Menteith Writs in the Charter-chest of 
the Duke of Montrose, occurs the following 
entry: — "A principal contract betuixt Wil- 4 Original Agreement in Charter-chest of 

3 Fasti Ecclesias Scoticanae, vol. ii. p. 718. 

4 Original Agrei 
Ham, Earl of Menteath, and Joseph Haddin Duke of Montrose. 


duly made resignation on 17th September 1622, 1 but the Earl seems to 
have been the first to fulfil the engagement, as in 1621 John Cragingelt, 
A.M., became minister of the parish. By the translation of Cragingelt to 
Alloa in 1626, the parish was again left vacant till 1629, when it was 
supplied by James Kirk, A.M., who was minister of Aberfoyle till his 
death in 1658. 2 Earl William had likewise engaged to obtain the glebe 
and manse of Aberfoyle for the pastor of the parish, and this he did by 
negotiations with John Graham of Polder, afterwards of Gartmore, who, on 
21st March 1625, resigned and overgave, in favour of the Earl, whatever 
right he, his heirs and successors, or his late father, William Graham of 
Duchray, had in the lands called the manse and glebe of Aberfoyle. 3 

The Earl of Menteith's first appearance in Parliament seems to have been 
in the year 1621, 4 and in that year he and Lord Ross joined in a protesta- 
tion, 5 of the nature of which the record does not inform us. On 27th 
December 1626, King Charles the First appointed William, Earl of Menteith, 
a member of the Privy Council of Scotland, and a Commissioner of Exchequer, 
" being crediblie informed," says the King in his letter to the Council, " of the 
sufficiencye of our right trustie and welbeloued cousen the Earle of Menteith, 
and of his affectioun to our seruice." On 1 8th January following the Earl was 
formally admitted as a member of Council, and became very regidar in his 
attendance at their meetings. On 12th May 1627, Charles wrote to him 
thanking him for his services and affection, of which he had both heard and 
had experience, and promised to remember them when opportunity offered. 
He also desired the Earl to continue in his oversight of the education of Lord 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 320. 4 Acta of the Parliaments of Scotland, 

2 Fasti Eeelesise Scoticanje, vol. ii. p. 718. vol. iv. p. 593. 

3 Original Renunciation in Charter-chest of 6 Ibid. p. 672. 
Duke of Montrose. 

VOL. I. 2 U 


Gray's eldest son. 1 From this time the Earl rose steadily in the estimation 
of King Charles, who fulfilled his promise hy promoting him with great 
rapidity to some of the most important and influential offices in the Scottish 

By the death of John, Earl of Montrose, the presidency of the Privy 
Council became vacant, and the King, in whose gift the office lay, conferred 
it upon the Earl of Menteith in January 1628, though a councillor of only 
one year's standing. The Council were instructed by the King's letter 
of 15th January 1628 to install the new president, and they did so on 21st 
February following. The patent of the office was only issued on 3d December 
1629, 2 and being exhibited and read by George, Viscount Dupplin, Lord 
High Chancellor, before the Privy Council on 7th January 1630, was handed 
by him to the Earl of Menteith. 3 By virtue of his office, the Earl was 
entitled to rank after John Earl of Mar, Lord High Treasurer, which 
however, was his previous ranking as an Earl. By another commission, 
dated 16th May 1631, the office of President of the Privy Council was 
conferred on the Earl of Menteith for life. 4 

In the year 1628, Menteith was also created Justice-General, or Lord 
Chief-Justice of Scotland, by King Charles the First. His commission 
is dated 11th July, and bears that the King, after his perfect age and 
general revocation, considering how necessary the appointment of a Justice- 
General in Scotland then was, and now after the resignation of the hereditary 
title by Archibald, Lord Lome, for himself and his father, Archibald, Earl 
of Argyll, and knowing certainly the aptitude and sufficiency of William, 
Earl of Menteith, his love and affection for his service and for the 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 1. 3 Extract Act of Council in Charter-chest 

2 Original in Charter-chest of Duke of of Duke of Montrose. 
Montrose. 4 Original Commission, ibid. 


welfare of the realm, which depends very much on the erection of the 
criminal court belonging to the office of Justice- General for the punishment 
of criminal delinquents and other violent transgressors of the laws and 
statutes of the realm, constituted the Earl Justice-General of Scotland 
for the space of one year only. 1 On 24th March 1629, when the period 
for which the Earl had been appointed was drawing to a close, the King 
granted another commission, in which he says that, understanding perfectly 
how that William, Earl of Menteith, had, by his industry, prudence, and 
diligence in certain parts of the kingdom, made good and solid provision 
for the preservation of justice and peace, and how necessary it was for the 
punishing of criminals, offenders, and violators of the laws and statutes that 
the work should be continued and prosecuted by him who bad begun it 
until it be completed, he of new created William, Earl of Menteith, Justice- 
General for the space of one year after the 11th of July following, and 
further during the good pleasure of the King, always until it should be 
inhibited by him. 2 The Earl held the office until the year 1633. 

King Charles placed great confidence in the tact and capacity of the Earl of 
Menteith, and consulted him freely on all the questions which then disturbed 
the northern part of the kingdom ; and the Earl appears to have replied to 
his Majesty without reservation. A considerable number of letters which 
the Earl received from the King have been preserved, and are, along with 
other epistles from several eminent statesmen and lawyers of that time, 
printed in another part of this work. 3 He was also repeatedly requested 
to give his attendance at Court, which occasioned several journeys to London. 
He spent part of two months there in the year 1629, and again in September 
of the following year. On the latter visit he was made a member of the 

1 Original Commission in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 

2 Original Commission, ibid. 3 Vol. ii. pp. 1-159. 


Privy Council of England, and an extract of the Act of his admission is still 
preserved among his papers. It is as follows : — 

At Hampton Court, 26 of September 1630. 

Present — 
Lord Keeper. Earl of Holland. 

Lord Treasurer. Lord Viscount Dorchester. 

Lord President. Lord Viscount Wimbledon. 

Lord Priuie Seale. Lord Viscount Grandison. 

Earl Marchall. Lord Viscount Falkland. 

Lord Chamberlaine. Mr. Treasurer. 

Earl of Dorsett. Mr. Vice Chamberlaine. 

Earl of Carlile. Mr. Secretary Coke. 

Sir William Alexander. 

This day William, Earle of Monteithe, Lord President of his Majesties Counsell in 

Scotland, and Lord Cheif Justice of that kingdome, was, by his Majesties spetiall 

command, signifyed by the Lord President, sworne of the Priuy Counsell, sate at the 

Boord, and signed letters. Concordat cum Eegistro extractum. 

W. Trumbull. 1 

The Earl was several times subsequently in London. During his absence 
from Scotland he was informed of the progress of events there by Thomas, 
first Earl of Haddington, and while in Scotland he had a valuable friend and 
correspondent at Court, Sir William Alexander, Chief Secretary in Scotch 
affairs, afterwards Earl of Stirling, to whom it is not improbable the Earl 
was considerably indebted for the favours of King Charles. Sir William 
wrote very frequently to the Earl, sometimes every week, and even at shorter 
intervals. While in Scotland Earl William, as President of the Privy Council, 
was the medium through whom all communications on State affairs went to 
1 Extract in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 


the Court, he heing authorised to sign all packets concerning his Majesty's 
service, and in connection herewith, a notice was issued on 6th June 1629 
by Charles Stanhope, Master and Comptroller-General of Posts, instructing 
his subordinates to facilitate the transmission of packets so signed. 1 

Owing to his high position and influence with King Charles, the Earl was 
no stranger to solicitations for his assistance in obtaining appointments to 
official vacancies. One of the most importunate of his clients was the famous 
lawyer Sir Thomas Hope, then Lord Advocate, who, in seeking the appoint- 
ment of his son as a Lord of Session, writes in terms of painful anxiety to the 
Earl, and it is amusing to peruse his agonised expostulations when he flunks 
the President is not so eager as he desires for the success of his suit. He is 
not unmindful to point out the defects of his son's rivals, and on one occasion, 
when rumour had borne to his ears the unwelcome tidings that his son had 
been rejected, he, with reluctant resignation, suggests other gentlemen in 
preference to the rivals. But the thought of his son's rejection is over- 
powering, his equanimity again gives way, and he refuses to abandon the 
expectations he entertained. Through the Earl's influence he was eventually 
gratified by the appointment of his son. 2 

On account of his public services, the Earl of Menteith received from 
King Charles, on 25th May 1628, the gift of a yearly pension of £500, to 
begin at Whitsunday 1628, to be paid out of the Exchequer of Scotland, and 
to continue during all the days of his life. In the letter of gift the King 
remarks that he had found the real effects of the Earl's ability and affection 
to his service, of which he had already given such sufficient proof. 3 In less 
than a year afterwards the King communicated to the President Ms intention 
of bestowing upon him a gift of £5000 sterling, as soon as the royal coffers 

1 Original at Gartmore. - Vol. ii. of this work, pp. 125-146. 

3 Eegistrum Secreti Sigilli, vol. c. fol. 443. 


were in a condition to bear the strain. The warrant, the King added, was 
only withheld until such time as there was a likelihood of its being attended 
to. 1 It was issued by King Charles on 1st September 1629. 2 In the course 
of this year Earl William, in his capacity of Justice-General, had expended 
£500 out of his own pocket in providing robes for the judges of the Circuit 
Courts, and at his own charges had sent out deputies to attend the services, 
and the King instructed the Earl of Mar as treasurer to refund this sum. 3 

In the same year, Earl William, taking advantage of the Act anent 
prescription of heritable rights, passed by King James the Sixth in 1617, 
and the period of thirteen years allowed therein for the making of claims to 
estates, searched his own charter-chest, and made application to King Charles 
for leave to examine the public records of Scotland. The permission was 
granted in a letter by the King, dated 9th November 1629, addressed to 
Sir John Hamilton of Magdalens, Lord Clerk Register. 4 Before that date, 
however, the Earl had obtained from Sir John Hamilton extracts from the 
Great Seal Register, of two charters by King Robert the Second to his 
son, Prince David Stewart, of the earldom of Strathern. Being the direct 
heir-male of the marriage of that Earl's only daughter, Countess Euphemia, 
with Sir Patrick Graham of Kincardine, afterwards Earl of Strathern, Earl 
William resolved to lay claim to that earldom, although it had been taken 
from Malise Graham, first Earl of Menteith, by King James the First. The 
Earl brought the matter, in the first instance, under the notice of the King's 
Advocate, Sir Thomas Hope, who advised him that the lands were of two 
kinds, — such as were annexed to the Crown, and others belonging to subjects 
and not annexed to the Crown ; that as to the latter class, he was convinced the 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 12. 

2 Original in Charter- chest of Duke of Montrose. 

3 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 26. 4 Ibid. p. 24. 


Earl had good grounds for taking action ; but as to the former, he persuaded 
himself the Earl would do nothing without first acquainting his Majesty. 

The opinion thus expressed was gratifying to the Earl, who at once 
informed the Advocate that he would not contest the first class of lands 
which had been annexed to the Crown, but at the same time he requested 
the Advocate to lay the matter before the King, and to prepare a formal 
renunciation by him in the King's favour of the annexed lands. 

The renunciation was duly prepared by Sir Thomas Hope, and laid before 
the President. That renunciation narrated the terms of the gift of the 
earldom by King Eobert the Second to his son, Prince David Stewart, by two 
charters, and asserted Earl "William's claim, as heir of blood to David Earl 
of Strathern, to the earldom granted to the latter, and all lands pertaining 
thereto ; but considering that the earldom of Strathern had been and was 
enjoyed by King Charles and his predecessors, and that the lands were held 
by vassals from the King as superior ; and also considering the great and 
extraordinary favours bestowed on him by his Majesty, the Earl of Menteith 
renounced, in the King's favour, all right to that earldom, and rests upon " his 
gratious favour and benevolence, as it shall please his Majestie, in his super- 
abundant justice, equitie, and wisdome," to bestow on him and his satisfaction 
therefor. While thus renouncing the earldom of Strathern, the Earl makes 
exception to the lands and barony of Kilbride, lying in that earldom, which 
had continued in the possession of the Earls of Menteith to that day, and to 
any other lands within the kingdom to which he had right as heir of David, 
Earl of Strathern. He obliged himself to obtain a service of himself as heir to 
that Earl, and then to renew the renunciation according to the requirements 
of law. This renunciation was signed by the Earl at Holyrood, on 1 3th 
August 1629, and it was forwarded to King Charles by Sir Thomas Hope, 
who, in an accompanying letter, counselled the King to accept the proposed 


settlement. The King seems to have been satisfied with the prospect of so 
easily obtaining a legal settlement of the matter in his favour. After consulting 
the Earl personally, he wrote to the Advocate to proceed in the matter. He 
also wrote to the Earl that he accepted his proposal as one of his good services 
done to him, that he had instructed the Advocate to prepare a surrender of 
the lands within the earldom of Strathern, which the Earl was to sign, and 
he promised to give a reasonable satisfaction for the renunciation. The 
terms of the King's letter also encouraged the Earl to prosecute his right 
to any other lands, with the assistance of the Advocate therein, so far as 
lawful. 1 

Another renunciation was prepared and signed by the Earl at Holyrood, 
on 22d January 1630, in which he acknowledged the satisfaction given by 
the King in recompence, amplified the terms of the clause renouncing the 
earldom, and added his resignation of the privilege of free regality and the 
pleas of the four points of the crown granted by King Eobert the Second to 
David, Earl of Strathern. 2 A further exception was also taken in the follow- 
ing terms : — " provyding thir presentis nor noe clause thairof prejudge me and 
my foirsaidis of our rycht and dignitie of bluide perteining to ws as aires of 
lyne to the said vmqhile Dauid, Erie of Stratherne." 3 This renunciation was 
accepted and registered on 12th March 1630. In order to make it thoroughly 
valid in law, the Lord Advocate caused the Earl of Menteith to be retoured 
heir to his " foirgrandschiris grandschir," Earl Malise, and through him to 
Prince David Stewart, Earl of Strathern, to effect which, Earl William, by 
letters dated 14th April 1630, appointed procurators to raise a brieve of 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 21. Crown, unless, as in the case of Strathern, 

2 The pleas of the four points of the Crown exception was made in the charter of any 
were criminal actions for robbery, ravish- feudal baron. 

ment, murder, aud arson, which could only 3 Original in H.M. General Register House, 

be tried by the justiciary officers of the Edinburgh. 


inquest, 1 and Sir Thomas Hope saw the service expeded on 25th May 
following, during the President's absence from Scotland at Court. The jury 
which sat upon the inquest included the Earls of Eglinton, Winton, Wigton, 
Carrick, the Viscounts of Ayr and Drumlanrig, Lords Erskine, Kilmaurs, 
Eoss of Melville, Napier of Merchiston, and Wemyss, Sir James Stewart, 
Sir George Towers of Inverleith, Sir George Forrester of Corstorphin, and 
Sir James Kerr of Crelinghall. 2 

The satisfaction promised by the King proved to be a sum of £3000 
sterling, 3 a precept for payment of which to the Earl of Menteith was granted 
by Charles on 11th June 1630, to William, Earl of Morton, Lord High 
Treasurer, and other Lords of Exchequer. The precept bears that the grant is 
made in consideration of " the manifolde goode servyces " and affection of the 
Earl, " quhairoff he hathe gevin many singulare prooffis and testimonies, and 
speciallie in his laite voluntar resignatioun and surrender of his clayme and 
tytill of the lands of the erldome of Stratherne, with the priviledge of regalitie 
and four poyntis of the croune, to the quhilk he hathe richt as air of bloode 
to vmquhill David, Erie of Stratherne," etc.* For his services in the matter, 
Sir Thomas Hope was promised the sum of £2000 sterling. 5 

As before mentioned, the surrender of the lands of the earldom of 
Strathern was made by Earl William, with the provision that it shordd not 
prejudice his right to the dignity, and King Charles, by patent dated 31st 
July 1631, ratified and approved to him and his heirs-male and of taillie, the 
title of Earl of Strathern, with precedency and priority proper thereto, due 

1 Original Procuratory in Charter-chest of 
Duke of Montrose. 

2 Retour printed in Airth Peerage Minutes 
of Evidence, 1839, p. 12. 

3 It is erroneously stated to have been 
VOL. I. 

£23,000 by Sir Harris Nicolas in his History, 
quoting Sir John Scot's True Relation. 

4 Original in Charter-chest of Duke of 

D History of the Earldoms of Strathern and 
Monteith, by Sir Harris Nicolas, p. 34. 

2 X 


to them by virtue of the charters granted to Earl David. 1 The patent was 
produced and read before the Privy Council of Scotland by Thomas, Earl of 
Haddington, Lord Privy Seal, on the 26th August following, and after being 
acknowledged and appointed to take effect, it was presented to Earl William, 
"who with most submissive reverence vpon his knees receaved the said 
patent as ane pledge and tokin of his majesteis exceeding great favour, 
and promeist to the vttermost of his endeavoures to approve himselfe worthie 
of the favoure and honnoure whairunto his majestie lies been gratiouslie 
pleased to preferre and advance him." 2 

Some additional grants of money were made by King Charles to the Earl 
about this time. On 27th February 1631, William, Earl of Morton, as Lord 
High Treasurer, was commanded to pay to him £8000 sterling, which was 
probably the two sums of £5000 and £3000 formerly mentioned, and part 
of this may have been paid before the end of the year. 3 But on the 28th 
December in the same year, the King made another grant of £15,000 sterling, 
which renders it doubtful if any part was paid. It would rather seem that 
this large sum included the former. In the precept under the Privy Seal 
to the Earl of Morton and his subordinates, the King mentions as his 
reasons for this gift, his consideration of the Earl's great charges for his 
frequent repairings to Court at his Majesty's special direction, his know- 
ledge of the Earl's great ability and affection to his service, according to his 
particular employments, and divers other considerations, and he appoints that 
the £15,000 be paid to William, Earl of Strathern and Menteith, out of the 
first and readiest of the King's rents and casualities. 4 This precept was 
supplemented by a Letter of Eatification and ISTovodamus under the Great 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 323. 3 Vol. ii. of this work, pp. 37, 30. 

2 Extract Act of Council in Charter-chest 4 Original Precept in Charter-chest of Duke 
of Duke of Montrose. of Montrose. 


Seal, dated 16th February 1632. 1 We shall afterwards see how these 
promises, gifts, and debts of Charles to the Earl were implemented. 

As formerly mentioned, the Earl received every encouragement from 
King Charles to prosecute his claim to the other lands belonging to the 
earldom of Strathern not annexed to the Crown, and on 13th May 1630, his 
Majesty ratified, in favour of Earl William, the two charters granted by 
King Eobert the Second to his son David, Earl of Strathern. The King also 
made a new gift of the lands, etc., contained in them, in favour of the Earl, 
his heirs-male and assignees, and granted the requisite precepts for his infef't- 
ment in them. One of these two charters of King Eobert's was the grant by 
that King to his son, David Stewart, on 19th June 1370, of the castle and 
barony of Urquhart, in the shire of Inverness; the other, a gift, on 21st 
March 1374, of the castle and lands of Brachwall, with all the other lands 
in the earldom of Caithness, or any other part of the country, which had 
belonged to Alexander de l'Ard, and which he had resigned into the hands of 
King Eobert. 2 By this means King Charles established more firmly Earl 
William's position as Earl of Strathern, his title to which was then fully 

It is at this period of his life that we find the Earl making large addi- 
tions to his territorial possessions, as if his paternal estates were too mean 
to support the weight of dignity which he had to uphold. For a sum of 
fifty-two thousand merks Scots, he acquired the barony of Drummond in 
the Lennox from John, Earl of Perth, 3 and on the resignation of that Earl 
he obtained a grant of it from King Charles on 26th November 1631. The 

1 Original Letter in Charter-chest of Duke Monteith, by Sir Harris Nicolas, Appendix, 
of Montrose. pp. lxiv-lxviii. 

3 Original Agreement in Charter-chest of 

2 History of the Earldoms of Strathern and Duke of Montrose. 


charter is dated at Holyrood House, and is in favour of William, Earl of 
Strathern and Menteith, Lord Kilpont and Kilbryde, and Agnes Gray, Countess 
of Strathern and Menteith, his spouse, of the barony of Drummond, alias 
Drymen, with tower, fortalice, etc., in the lordship of Menteith and shire of 
Stirling. 1 In the following year he obtained the lands of Airth from Alexander, 
Earl of Linlithgow, by disposition, dated 5th April 1632, the terms of which 
have not been ascertained, and of these lands he received one charter under 
the Great Seal from King Charles on 14th April of that year. 2 The charter, 
which is dated at Holyrood, gives to the Earl and his spouse in joint infeft- 
ment, and their heirs-male, whom failing, to the heirs-male and assignees of 
the Earl, the lands and barony of Airth, and the Pow of Airth, formerly 
belonging to John Bruce of Airth, with tower, fortalice, etc., in the shire of 
Stirling, and formerly granted by King Charles the Eirst, on 14th February 
1627, to Alexander, Earl of Linlithgow, who now resigned the barony for a 
new infeftment to the Earl of Strathern. The charter contains a novodamus 
and re-erection into a new barony of Airth, the tower, fortalice, and manor- 
place to be the principal messuage. 3 Some informality in this charter led to 
the resignation of the lands again by the Earl of Linlithgow and the Earl 
of Strathern and his spouse, on 14th July following, for new infeftment to 
Strathern and his spouse, and another was obtained from King Charles, 
dated at Oatlands, in England, 21st July 1632, which confirmed the previous 
infeftment. 4 

At this period of his life the Earl had reached the zenith of his ambition, 
and he had reason to congratulate himself on the success which had attended 
his every step. He was the possessor of one of the oldest baronial titles then 

1 Registrant Magui Sigilli, Lib. liii. No. 173. 

2 Old Inventory of the lands of Airth in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 

3 Eegistrura Magni Sigilli, Lib. liii. No. 21C. 4 Ibid. Lib. liv. No. 10. 


existing, and could have boasted, as lie was charged with doing, of the royal 
blood which coursed in his veins. He occupied a place in the Cabinet 
Councils of both Scotland and England, over the former of which he 
presided. In addition he held the supreme justiciary office of Lord Justice 
General, and was the King's most confidential adviser in Scotch affairs. 

But like many others who have enjoyed the favour of sovereigns, 
Menteith did not escape the machinations of enemies, for, whether from the 
jealousies created by his remarkable good fortune and elevation over many 
high in place, or from fears on the part of others that the Earl's claim to 
Strathern would prove disastrous to some of their own possessions, or from 
other causes, a powerful confederation was organised against the Earl, which 
ultimately succeeded in procuring his downfall. Its guiding spirit was Sir 
John Scot of Scotstarvet, Director of Chancery, 1 who claimed that he had 
been the means of Earl William's success, and yet had been most ungratefully 
cast off by him at the bidding of Sir Thomas Hope. 2 Sir John after this 
became the Earl's bitter enemy, and was the principal means of inflaming 
the minds of some of the nobility against him. 

The Earls of Seaforth and Tullibardine associated themselves with Sir 
John Scot in this business, and having prepared a statement in reference to 
the earldom of Strathern and its relations to the Crown, they caused it to be 
circulated, and also brought it under the notice of the King. It contained 
six reasons why the Earl of Menteith should not be allowed to prosecute 
his claim to the earldom of Strathern, every one of which rests on principles 
of expediency, not one on right or justice. They were adroitly put in the 
form of suggestions — 


1 He was the author of the well-known 2 Sir John Scot's True Relation, printed in 

work, "The Staggering State of Scots States- History of Earldoms of Strathern and Mon- 
rnen." teith, by Sir Harris Nicolas, Appendix, p. xxiv. 


1st. Would it not be inexpedient for his Majesty to promote the 
descendants of Euphemia Eoss to such estate and power in the country, 
so as to encourage them in the case of any commotion to put forward a 
claim to the Crown ? 

2d. Would it not be an imputation upon his Majesty's honour to restore the 
earldom of Strathern to the successors of Malise Graham, from whom it was 
taken by King James the First, " a vertuous and just prince," as such an act 
would be to blot that monarch with the aspersion of injury, oppression, and 
avarice, and justify his murder by Sir Eobert Graham, tutor to Malise, for 
wrongous usurpation of the earldom ? 

3d. Seeing the earldom was annexed to the Crown by Act of Parliament, 
would it be expedient to reduce these acts of annexation, which would require 
to be done in the event of the earldom passing to the Earl of Menteith ? 

4th. In the reign of King James the Fourth, in the year 1508, the earldom 
was set in feu to the tenants, then possessors, some of whom had compounded 
for their feus, and had served their King at various times and ways, etc. Would 
it be agreeable to justice that so many honest gentlemen should be ruined in 
their estates, as would happen if the earldom was separated from the Crown ? 

5th. If the Earl of Menteith were to recover the earldom, there would be 
great diminution of his Majesty's rents and obedience, seeing the lands now 
held of the Crown would be held of the Earl of Menteith, and among others 
by the Earls of Montrose, Perth, Tullibardine, the Viscount of Duplin, Lord 
Maderty, the Lairds of Glenorchy, Keir, Gleneagles, Duncrub, etc. 

And finally, that King James the Sixth refused even to grant the title of 
Strathern, and much less the earldom to any subject, answering the applicants 
that he had no more for the blood of and slaughter of King James the First. 1 

1 Sir John Scot's True Eelation, printed in Sir Harris Nicolas's History of the Earldoms 
of Strathern and Monteith, Appendix, p. xxviii. 


On being shown the statement by Sir Eobert Dalzell and Mr. James 
Maxwell of Innerwick, King Charles evinced his displeasure at the aspersion 
cast upon his favourite. He showed, however, that the information was 
not altogether lost upon him, by the following instructions to Sir Eobert 
Dalzell :— 

Robin Dalziel, whereas I have been informed by you and James Maxwell that the 
grant of the earldom of Straitherne, which I have given, is greatly prejudicial to me 
both in honor and matter of state, in so much that he either hath or may serve himself 
heir to King Robert the Second, therefore, since it doth seem to lay a heavy aspersion 
upon a man who I both do and will esteem, till I see evident cause in the contrary, 
he having done me many good services, I command you to produce your authors, 
that I may either punish them for their great aspersion, or reward them for their good 
service in so important a discovery ; otherways I must take James and you for my 
authors, judgeing you as ye shall prove your allegations. Make haste in this, for I must 
not suffer a business of this nature to hing long in suspence. Whitehall, 2 October 
1632. 1 

Sir Eobert was further instructed to take legal advice on the subject, and 
he referred it to Sir James Skene of Curriehill, President of the Session, Sir 
Archibald Acheson of Glencairn, his Majesty's Secretary, and Sir John Scot, 
" our authors of whom (says he) the said James (Maxwell) and I heard the 
samen." Their opinion was put in writing and sent to the King, and was, as 
might be expected, condemnatory enough of the Earl's proceedings. The 
plotters themselves drew atteution to six points, on which they raised 
questions and answered them in a fashion well fitted to excite the King's 
jealousy. The propositions as given by Sir John Scot are these : — 

1. It is craved, if a general service of this Earle of Stratherne, as heir to David, 
Earle of Straitherne, eldest lawfull son of the first marriage to King Robert the Second, 

1 Sir John Scot's True Relation, quoted in History of the Earldoms of Stratliern and 
Monteith, by Sir Harris Nicolas, Appendix, p. xxxi. 



be a sufficient title to the earldome itself, whilk he hath renuneed in his Majesties 
favours, or gives to his Majestie any better right that he had before 1 It is answered, 
that the general service of this Earle of Straitherne gives no right to the earldom of 
Straitherne to the said Earle ; and as to the renunciation granted to his Majestie be 
the said Earle, it is of noe effect, and gives noe right to his Majestie, seeing the granter 
of the same had no right to the said earldom, because the same was annexed to the 
Crown by King James the Second, since which time it hath been continually bruiked 
be his Majestie and his predecessors as their annexed property ; but by the contrair 
does weaken his Majesties right, in accepting a right from him, and acknowledging a 
necessity of renunciation when ther was no need. 

2. It is demanded, if the granting of a new right by his Majesty of the lordship of 
Urehat has not wronged the King, and all those who have right from his Majestie and 
his predecessors of any part of the said lordship 1 It is answered, that it has wronged 
his Majestie to give that away which was his own, and whereunto the said Earle had 
no right in respect of the annexation foresaid, and also will wrong those who have 
right from his Majestie and his predecessors by continual pleas against them, and 
denudeth his Majestie both of property and tennendrie of the said lordship. 

3. It is required, whether the said Earle may purchase himself retoured and infeft, 
as nearest and lawful! heir to David, Earl of Straitherne, in the said earldom, conform 
to the clauses obligator contained in the said renunciation ? It is answered, that the 
said Earl can no ways purchase himself to be infeft in the said earldome, because of the 
annexation of the same to the Crown as said is. 

4. Is it not boldness that the said Earle should have served himself heir of blood 
to David, Earle of Straitherne, eldest lawfull son of the first marriage to King Robert 
Second, whereby he is put in degree of blood equall to his Majestie 1 It is answered, in 
our judgement the boldness seems too great. 

5. It is craved, if the Earle of Straitherne may serve himself heir to King Robert 
Second, sieing he is allready served heir to David, Earle of Straitherne, eldest son to 
King Robert Second 1 It is answered, that in our judgements, if the ease were among 
subjects we sie nothing in the contrair. 

6. It is craved, whither the King is prejudged in honor and state, by acknow- 



ledging the said Earle to be undoubted heir to David, Earle of Straitherne, and 
consequently to be in degree of blood equal to his Majestie 1 It is answered, that, 
apparently, if his Majestie had known the consequence of it, for reason of State, he 
would never have done it, and it seems to us his Majesties honour to be interessed in 
acknowledging any subject to be equall in blood to himself. 1 

In ending the propositions, Sir John Scot refers to another paper which 
with these was given to Sir Bobert Dalziel as the reply of Counsel. The 
following brief note may represent the substance of it : — 

A briefe note of these perticulares that the President of Sessione, the Secretarie, 
and Director of the Chancelarie, hes sett under their handes to his Majestie, 
eonserning the earldom of Strathern. 

lnfeft. of Wrquhart 
renunc. 2 Act Pari, 
lib. 16 fol. 34. 

Kenunoiat 3. 

Renunciat 4. 

lnfeft Wrquhart 5. 

Retoure 6. 

Act Parliament. 

Patent of Honour 7. 

41 Act of his ii 

1. Dauid Steward, Earle of Stratherrne, was eldest lawfull sone 
to King Robert the Second, and Euphani Rose his first wyf. 

2. William, Earle of Monteith, affirmes himself to be successor 
and lawfull haire of bloud to the said Dauid. 

3. The King hes eccepted a renunciatione, with reseruatione of 
the said Earle Monteith's right and dignitie of bloud as heire of line 
to the said Dauid. 

4. The King aknowledges the said Erie wndouted lineall heire of 
bloude to the said Dauid. 

•5. The said Erie, by inquest of 15 noble men, is aknowledged, 
serued, and retoured lawfull heir to the said Dauid, May 1630, and 
this must ather be reduced within 6 monthes, or else will euer stand 

6. The King himself aknowledges the said Erie to be retoured 
as wndouted heire of bloud to the said Dauid, wnder his hand and 
great seall. 

7. The said Erie neither hade nor can haue right to the said 

1 True Relation, quoted in History of Earldoms of Strathern and Monteith, by Sir Harris 
Nicolas, Appendix, p. xxxiii. 

VOL. I. 2 Y 


erldome nor barony of Wrquhart, the sam being anext to the Croun 

by King James 2, and neuer since desolued. 

Renuneiat 8 8. The said Erie can neuer be infeft in the said Erldom, as hee 

Act forsaid. . . . . 

is bound in the renunciatione, the sam being annexed as said is. 

Renuneiat 9. 9. The said Erie, notwithstanding of this annexatione, does 

affirme himself to haue good right to claime the sam erldome. 

Albeit hee hade none, and aknowledges to haue resauid satisfactione 

and recompance for the sam. 
Proees depending now 10. The said Erie hes intendet reductione against his majesties 

wassals of the barony of Wrquhart wpon his new grant, and theirby 

takes from his majestie their superiorite. 
Practise and comnne 11. The said Erie may serue himself heir alsuel to King Eobert 

2 as hee did to Dauid his eldest sone, if the case war amongst 

subjects. 1 

Sir Eobert Dalzell lost no time in returning to Court with his proofs and 
advice, and owing to some suspicions that their purpose was betrayed, the 
President of the Session and the Secretary agreed, on the suggestion of their 
fellow-counsellor, Sir John Scot, that the latter should follow and explain 
matters to the King. Sir John himself relates his journey, how he " that 
instant night, before ten of the clock, within three days of Christmass, rode 
that night to Dirltoun, and the next morning took post at Cockburnspath, 
and the fifth day came to Hamptoun Court, where his Majestie resided, who 
being brought into the bedchamber by Mr. Maxwell, he had long conference 
with his Majestie concerning the said matter." 2 In this conference use was 
made of a paper of historical parallels, prepared at Sir John's request by his 
brother-in-law, William Drummond of Hawthornden, the object of which was 
to obtain the fate of a traitor for the Earl of Menteith, and in the close of 

1 Original in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 

2 True Relation, quoted ut supra, p. xxxv. 


which it is suggested that the elevation of the Earl afforded a fitting pinnacle 
for displaying his ambition as a warning to the world : — 

" It is to be considered also if a subject serving himself heir to a crown, by the 
oversight of the Prince and negligence, indirectly and in crafty-coloured terms, not- 
withstanding of whatsoever protestations of his advocat in the contrair, may be accused 
of high treason. And whither a prince may justly keep under the race of such, whose 
aspiring thoughts dare soare so nigh a crown, as they have been keept these two 
hundred years bygone, for reason of State, unless the Prince exalt them to give them 
a more deadly blow, and extirpat them and their whole race, suborning mercenary 
flaterers to make them aim above their reach. Dum nesciunt distinguere inter summa 
et praecipitia princeps quod persequitur honorat, extollit natu ut lapsu graviore mat." 1 

To incense the King still more against Menteith, Sir Robert Dalzell, who 
was also present, reported an alleged insolent statement by the Earl, " that 
he had the reddest blood in Scotland." This assertion appears to have 
startled the King, but with evident suspicion of the real intentions of his 
informants he dismissed them with the remark that " it was a sore matter 
that he could not love a man but they pulled him out of his arms." Charles, 
however, gave Sir John Scot another interview, in which he was more 
successful in making an impression on the King, especially by the production 
of a pedigree prepared by Menteith, for the intended action of reduction 
and improbation against the vassals of Urquhart, in which his Majesty was 
placed on the left hand. 

Menteith, meanwhile, having learned what was going forward, set about 
preparations for clearing his conduct in regard to the matter, and in this, as 
in all the former proceedings, he had the assistance of Sir Thomas Hope, 
although a little later Sir Thomas, on account of his position of Lord Advocate, 
had to neglect his patron, at least so far as the public service was concerned, 

1 True Relation, quoted ut mipra, p. xxxvii. 


in order to devote his energies to the interests of his royal master. There is 
evidence, however, that he offered a covert opposition to the action of the 
conspiring party, though by the King's command he was obliged to associate 
himself with them. On 21st November 1632, he wrote the following letter 
from Edinburgh to the Earl of Strathern, who appears about this time to have 
betaken himself to Court : — 

My nobill Lord, — May it please your Lordship, I did inquire at Mr. James 
Durhame if Sir J. S. 1 at his parting had gotten from him any extract, quho be othe 
hes purgit himself that news, and that he fell on him the nycht by mere accident, and 
quhen he knew not of his journey, and because I did consider that the doubill of your 
Lordship's renunciation, whilk is registrat in the buiks of Exchequer, mycht be for 
some use to your Lordship while ye ar thair, I haif causit Mr. James Durhame extract 
the samin under his hand, whilk he did most willingly and thankfully, and I have 
sent the samin to your Lordship herein. 

Thair wes ane other paper which I thocht necessair for clering of your Lordship 
sincerity in that business and my fidelity, whilk I socht ernestly for three dayes and 
fund it nott. And in end God hes casten it in my hand, whilk is the procu[ra]tory 
subscryvit be your Lordship for serving of your brevis, whilk wes producit be Mr. 
John Rollok and Mr. James Robertson the tyme of the service. The extract of the 
service whilk I sent to your Lordship with George Grahame, under the subscriptioun 
of Mr. John Oliphant, clerk of the sheriffdom of Edinburgh, beris the production of 
the procuratory, with the date thereof, but the clerk, after he had made a diligent 
search, could not find it. And be ane special providence I gai him notice that Mr. 
John Oliphant, advocate, who was ane of the Sheriff's deputes at the time of the 
service, might give me suir notice whair it micht be fund. And I sent for him, and 
after great entreaty and promises of favor to him from your Lordship if he sould find 
it to me, persuade him to tak on him to find it, and hes in end beine that happy as to 
get it in my hands, whilk wes more wallow to me nor if he had given me ane 
thousand crounes. And immediately after I saw it I caused him go to the Sheriff-* 

1 Sir James Skene. 


clerk, and schaw him the sarain, that he micht recognise it to be the samin body of 
procurotry whilk was producit in face of Court, whilk the clerk has done and testifiet 
be minute at the end of the procuratory, but refusit to subscribe the minute. 

Now, iny Lord, this procuratory (whilk I send your Lordship herewith) does not 
only justify your Lordship's proceedings to be just in acta, but also in animo et 
intentione, for the procuratory (if your Lordship reads it) beris that forsamuekle as ye 
haif subscryvit ane renunciation to his Majestie, and that for his Majesties security it 
is necessar that your Lordship be servit to Erll David, Erll Patrik, and Erl Malice, 
therefore your Lordship gives power to rays breifis and obtayne your Lordship seruit 
and retourit air to tham. 

I am sure (my dear Lord) your God his watchit over you in all this business, and 
the prescribing of thir proces, with the course of the protest send to your Lordship, 
may be arguments to your Lordship of ane Divine Providence that directs you in your 
affairs. And thairfor, as I writ in my former, study to sanctify your God in your 
heart, in your living and actiounes, and grieve not his Spirit nor the good angell 
whom he has appointed to attend and keep you in your wayis. And if you do this 
with a faithful, honest, and sincere heart, doubt not of a blessing, whilk I pray the 
Lord to multiply in you here and for ever. 

Your Lordship's humbill and bund seruitor, 

S E - Thomas Hope. 

Please your Lordship, turn over eftir you haif red the marginal writt. 

(" Marginal writt.") 

Please your Lordship, I did not expect that the clerk would refuse to subscribe the 
minute of the production of the procuratory. But seeing he has refused it, I have 
changed purpose and sent to your Lordship the just double thereof under the subscrip- 
tion of two notaries, and I sal be careful that the principal sal be keepit safe and to 
the foyr whenever your Lordship sal have ado therewith, sua that your Lordship may 
consideratlie adhear to the contents of the copy quhilk is sent, and I thocht the copy 
more fitt nor the principal, quhilk is your Lordship's awn deed, and subscribit 
with your awn hand, and quhilk (according to the nymbleness of your Lordship's 


calumniators) micht be affirmit to be brunt or changeit be your Lordship since the 
dait of the challenge, quhilk as yet cannot be alleged against the copy, and your 
Lordship will find that the procuratory has one witness who will be far off suspicion 
(viz., Sir J. Elphinston), and as the copy bears minut ... of the production of the 
procuratory on 29 th May, quhilk was the day of the service, quhilk minute but the 
relation thereof is sufficient be the copy quhilk bears that minute. Pleas your Lord- 
ship, the lybel againis John Toschoch is be supplication geviu in to the Counsall be the 
Marquis of Huntly, and be an act of Counsel following thereupon continuit to the 22° 
February next, and in the meantime the Marquis has warnit your Lordship by actis to 
compear before the Counsell, to hear and see them punishit for thair last continuation. 
I haif written to my Lord Secretar for the . . . warrand, quhilk was sent to me 
from his Majestie in July 1G28, for proponing of sic public business to the Counsel as 
were necessar at his Majestie being here. 

(The postscript.) 
My Lord, — I hear the greatest objection is that there is reservit in the renuncia- 
tion the rycht and dignitie of blood pertaining to you as heir to Erie David, in 
respect you are bund to serve yourself heir to Erl David, quhilk of necessary conse- 
quence includit that reservation, that seeing it is expressed therein, and that your 
Lordship's unfriendis takes occasion to found ane maliceous calumny thereupon. The 
mater may be easily clearit that the reservation is both proper and just, because the 
renunciation bears to renounce the erldome of Strathern, quhilk word (erledom) includes 
the titill and dignity, and therefore behovit to be reservit because it was not to be 
renouncit, nor could nocht be renouncit. 1 

By the intervention of the Earl of Morton and the Chancellor, the Earl 

obtained a favourable reception from King Charles, who told him that he 

would require to quit the title of Strathern and take that of Airth instead. 2 

So early as the 9th of December 1632, Charles seems to have decided on the 

course to be taken by him in the matter, which was to recall the title of 

1 Original Letter in Charter-chest of Duke 2 Sir John Scot's True Relation, quoted by 

of Montrose. Sir Harris Nicolas ut supra, p. xliv. 


Strathern, and reduce the services and all other documents which gave a 
claim to it. On that day he wrote to Menteith, informing him that he had 
instructed Sir Thomas Hope to take the assistance of other three advocates — 
Andrew Aytoun, Thomas Nicolson, and Lewis Stewart, and consult with them 
whether it were fitter to delete from the Eegisters or reduce the services and 
retours by which the Earl had been served heir to David, Earl of Strathern, 
and he required the Earl to administer an oath to them that they would 
deliver their opinion and judgment thereupon in writing without revealing 
the same. 1 In compliance with the command referred to in this letter, the 
four advocates met and deliberated on the matter. Their answer to the King 
embraced the following points:' 2 — 

1. That it was fittest for his Majesty's security that the retours and services and 
whole writs hereafter called for should be reduced by order and course of law, and also 

2. That the reduction should be raised at Ins Majesty's instance as granter of the 
infeftments, etc., and alleged acceptor of the pretended renunciation, as he who has the 
undoubted right to the earldom of Strathern and other lands, by acts of annexation and 
otherwise, as he who is undoubted and nearest heir of blood to the late David, Earl of 
Strathern, younger brother to the late King Robert the Third, his Majesty's great- 
grandfather's great-grandfather, of whom Ids Majesty is lineally descended, and which 
King Robert the Third was the eldest and only brother of the said late David of whom 
there is any succession living, the said David and his alleged daughter Euphame having 
died without succession, and also as having general interest in the process. 

?>. That in the production there be called for the renunciation, the infeftment of 
Urquhart and Brauchlie, etc., the service and retours, the brieves, claims, and patents, 
with all other writs, evidents, or documents whereupon the services are grounded, or 
the claims were or could be verified, whether the same be charters, precepts, confirma- 
tions, patents, or other rights, gifts, and securities whatsoever made by the King's 
1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 47. 2 Contemporary Copy at Traquair. 


predecessors or governors for the time to the Earl of Menteith or his predecessors for 
the time, or to whatever other person, which may be a ground of the said services or 
retours for instructing his descent and blood therein declared, with all sasines or other 
writs which have followed thereupon, all services and retours whereby any of his 
predecessors has been served to others, in so far as they may appear to instruct the 
said services, and all other writs whereby he may have right to the earldom of 
Strathern, etc., or to be heir of blood to the late David, Earl of Strathern, or to the 
late Euphame his alleged daughter, or to the late Patrick, alleged Earl of Strathern, 
as descended of the marriage betwixt the said late Patrick and Euphame. 

4. To conclude reduction and improbation of these whole writs, and all acknow- 
ledgments by his Majesty of Menteith being heir of blood as aforesaid ; and also 
declarator that the said Earl has no right either to the said earldom or lands 
mentioned, or is or can be heir or nearest of blood to the late Lady Euphame and 
Patrick ; and also to hear and see it found and declared that his Majesty has only 
undoubted right to the earldom of Strathern, Uiquhart, Brauchlie, etc., and that his 
Majesty is undoubted nearest heir of blood to the said late David, Earl of Strathern ; 
also to conclude error against the assise of inquest. 

They then give the reasons for this judgment : — 

1st. Because the said service was led and deduced for " null defence," whereas if his 
Majesty had compeared, he would have alleged, as he now doth, that the said Earl's 
only pretended claim was as heir by progress to the late Malise, Earl of Menteith, his 
predecessor, and that the said late Malise was lawful son to the said late Lady 
Euphame and Patrick Graham her spouse, and that Lady Euphame was alleged 
daughter to the said late David. And it is true that it neither was nor can be verified 
that either the said late Malise was lawful son to Lady Euphame, or that she was 
lawful daughter to David, Earl of Strathern, by any writs, documents, or evidents 
whatever ; whereas on the contrary, his Majesty would have alleged, as he now doth, 
that he is undoubted heir of blood to Earl David, as being lineally descended from 
King Bobert the Third, his Majesty's great-grandfather's great-grandfather, who was 
eldest and only lawful brother to Earl David of whom there is any succession now 


living, there being now no succession of Earl David nor of his alleged daughter 
Euphame, and therefore the assise committed wrong and error in the service. 

2d. Because the renunciation by the Earl of Menteith, and infeftments granted to 
him of Urquhart, etc., are null, inasmuch as by them the King prejudged himself in his 
own property, which he could not do without consent of his Estates and after lawful 
dissolution, and also because it is impossible for the Earl of Menteith to fulfil his part, 
that is, to serve himself heir to Earl David, for reasons already given. Further, they 
argue that the renunciation was never accepted by the King, and as for its being 
accepted by a pretended protestation, that was only the act of his Majesty's advocate 
without any lawful warrant therefor. 

3d. The renunciation and infeftments are null, because they were sought and 
obtained upon the pretended and wrongous affirmation and narrative of Menteith that 
he was undoubted heir of blood to Earl David and Lady Euphame, which he in no wise 
is, but his Majesty only is ; and further, the King could not accept any such pretended 
declarations in prejudice of his own blood. 

4(h. The King ought to be declared undoubted heir of blood of Earl David and 
Euphame his alleged daughter, if any such was, because he is only nearest heir of 
blood to King Robert the Third, his Majesty's great-grandfather's great-grandfather, 
who was the eldest and only lawful brother to Earl David of whom there is any succes- 
sion extant, Earl David or Euphame having deceased without children. 

5 th. Improbation. 

The King meanwhile had prepared the patent of the new creation of 
Menteith as Earl of Airth, of which he had spoken to him previously in his 
interview, and it was granted to the Earl on 21st January 1633. On the 
same day Charles wrote to him, as Earl of Airth, that he had given Sir 
Thomas Hope commandment to raise an action of reduction against his 
services to Earl David and Countess Euphame of Strathern, and promising 
that if in the action he evicted the barony of Kilbride, he would immedi- 
ately dispone the same to the Earl heritably. " And becaus," the King adds, 
" we haue, in all this bussines of Stratherne, from the first to the last, found 
VOL. I. 2 Z 


your great affectione to our service, we will tak a speciall care of the weell 
and standing of your hous, that vtheris heerafter may be incouraged to doe 
ws good service." 1 

In the patent of the title of Earl of Airth, granted by King Charles the 
First to William, Earl of Menteith, the King refers to the erection of the 
earldom of Menteith by King James the First on 6th September 1427, 2 in 
favour of Earl Malise, and declares William, Earl of Menteith, President of 
the Privy Council, to have been served and retoured undoubted and lawful 
heir-of-line and succession. He then proceeds : — 

" We, recalling to our mind the singular, excellent, and faithful services rendered and 
performed to us by our said trusty and well-beloved cousin and councillor, William, 
Earl of Menteith, President of our said Privy Council, according to our direction, and for 
the public good of our realm, and his constant purpose of persevering therein, which we 
of our benign good pleasure have resolved to keep in remembrance, that others may be 
induced by his example to perform the like faithful services ; and, in the meanwhile, 
we, willing to erect the lands and barony of Airtb, belonging heritably to the said 
Earl, into one free earldom, with the title and dignity of Earl of Airth, in manner 
hereafter mentioned, have therefore erected, and by the tenor of these presents do erect, 
to and in favour of the foresaid William and his heirs, the lands and barony of Airth 
foresaid into one free earldom, to be in all future time named the earldom of Airth." 

The King then unites and annexes the earldom of Menteith to the newly 
created earldom of Airth, giving to the newly created Earl the place, 
priority, and precedency clue to the Earls of Menteith by virtue of the 
charter of 1427. 3 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 49. Claim, 1839, p. 4 ; also, History of the Earl- 

doms of Strathern and Monteith, by Sir 

2 In the patent the year is several times 
given as 1428, which is a mistake for 1427. 

Harris Nicolas, pp. 73 and xcii. Iu this 
work Sir Harris Nicolas examines minutely 
3 Minutes of Evidence in Airth Peerage the legal bearings of this new creation. 


The arrangements for the reduction of the services to Strathern were now 
pushed forward, and a summons raised for the King at the instance of the 
Earl of Morton, Treasurer, John Lord Traquair, Treasurer-Depute, and Sir 
Thomas Hope, Lord Advocate, against WilKam, Earl of Menteith, in which 
the Sheriff-Principal of Edinburgh, his deputies and clerk, and the jurors 
who attended the inquest of the Earl's services, were included, as well as Sir 
John Scot, by whom the brieves of inquest were granted. They, however, 
were successful in justifying their conduct by the King's own proceedings, 
and the King instructed the Lords of Session to hold them free from blame. 1 
The decree of reduction was obtained from the Lords of Session on 22d 
March 1633, who found the reasons given relevant to that end, and declared 
that the defender was not heir to Earl David or Countess Euphame, nor 
could be, nor was he of blood to them, but, on the contrary, the King was 
sole and only heir. 2 In this case, Lord Durie adds, the Treasurer-Depute sat, 
judged, reasoned, and voted, although he was pursuer. In modern times, 
several writers on peerage law have maintained that the Court of Session 
has even yet, notwithstanding the Union between Scotland and England, 
the sole right of judging on questions affecting the Peers of Scotland, and 
that in preference to the House of Lords ; but the conduct of the Court 
of Session in the case of Strathern does not afford a favourable specimen 
of their impartiality in judging of a personal suit at the instance of King 
Charles the First against one of his subjects. 

After the decree was obtained, the Lord Chancellor, at his Majesty's 
command, convened Lord Traquair and his Majesty's Advocate, and called to 
their assistance the three Advocates, Sir Lewis Stewart, Mr. Andrew Aytoun, 

1 Sir John Scot's True Relation, quoted ut supra, p. xlviii. 

2 Durie's Decisions, quoted by Sir Harris Nicolas in History of the Earldoms of Strathern 
and Monteith, Appendix, p. lxxvi. 


and Mr. Thomas Mcolson, to whom they submitted the decree, for consider- 
ation of what more was necessary for the entire abolishing of the Earl of 
Airth's pretended right to Stratherri. At the meeting Sir Thomas Hope 
showed his fellow-councillors, for their information, a process in dependence 
before the Lords for cancelling the whole warrants and registers, wherein 
were the brieves, services, renunciations, infeftments, and patents reduced by 
the decree, and asking the opinion of the three Advocates also respecting 
this step. They declared the decree, improbation, and process thereof legal, 
formal, and sufficient. 

And that nothing could be added thairto for full securitie in law, except the 
cancelling of the wreitts reduced and warrauds thairof extant in the hands of the 
keipers of the registers and sealls, and razing and deletting of the samine in all the 
registers quhairin the samine is insert, whilk cancelling they thocht sould be persewed 
and followed befor the Lords of Secret Counsell, Excheker, and Sessioun, according to 
the forme begunne alreadie befor the Sessioun, quhilk they allowed and approved. 

Item : Motion being made anent the possibility of some auld wreitts and chartors 
quhilk may be found in the handis of some noblemen and barrons, whither the samyn 
sould be mad search for, to the effect the samyne also micht be cancelled, and if found, 
be quhat ordour the samyne micht be cancelled. It was answered be the advocatts 
that all wreitts quhatsumeuir, and of quhatsumeuir nature, quhilk micht verefie the 
descent of the Earl of Airth from Dauid, Erie of Stratherne, or Euphame his dauchter, 
are decerned to mak na faith against him compeirand, quhilk dois exclud him and all 
vthers to come after him of all claime of successioun to the said Erie Dauid and his 
daughter, and the searching of privat mens chartor-kists would mak ane neidles noyse, 
and possiblie neuer be found ; and albeit they were found, being in privat mens handis, 
it is lyklie that the samen concerns the subjects havears thairof for the suirtie of thair 
awne lands, and swa hardlie could be cancelled and destroyed in thair prejudice. 

To this opinion the Chancellor, the Earl of Traquair, and Sir Thomas 
Hope gave their approbation. 1 

1 Original Memorandum at Traquair. 


The unjust character of the whole transaction towards the Earl of Menteith 
is sufficiently manifest from these proceedings now brought to light, but if 
more proof is needed, it is afforded in adequate measure by the following 
letter from the Earl of Traquair to the Earl of Morton, while the subject was 
still under consideration. It is dated 16th March : — 

Most honourable and my noble Lokd, — Expecting to have sein a finall con- 
clusion of this business concerning the reduction of the Earle of Menteith's service, I 
have differred wryting thir dayes bygane, but the difficulties that have aryssin therin, 
partlie be difference of opiniones betwixt the King's advocat and the wther threi, and 
partlie be the difficulteis quhilks the Lords of Session seames to conceave in the bussines, 
hes delayed the same. The King's advocat, with the uther threi, did subscryve a informa- 
tioune, conforrae to quhich the soumonds of reduction were to be libelled, notwithstanding 
quhairof, as they alledge, the soumonds are in sume thinges different from that subscryved 
informatioune. The Lords of Session ailed ges the busines is not fairlie caried for the 
Kingis securitie, for notwithstanding the advocat findes himself satisfied with the pro- 
duction in the mater of reduction, yit the Lords, finding sundrei writes nather produced 
nor caled for, quhilks have ather bein sein to sume of themselfes, or confessed be sume 
of the parteis, they seam yit to think that except all be produced that was produced 
to the Inqueist at least, the proces is not faire nor secure. Efter much disputing the 
Lords ware content that upon my Lord Strathernes declaratioune of quhat was produced 
to the service or the advocats, upon ather of the tuo ther productiones of quhat was 
produced ther, they wald rest satisfied in soe fare as concerned the production in the 
reduction. Heirupon the advocat being caled in, he condiscended upon a great many 
writes sean to him, quhilks the Earle himself denyes, and heirupon ther hes bein sume 
bote speaches betuixt them. The advocat, in presence of the haill Lordes, confessed 
he hade sean befor the service a chartour, quhairby it was evident that Euphan 
was only dochter to Earle David ; a second, quhairby it was evident that Patrik 
Grahame was mareid to Euphan ; a third, quhairby it was clear that Melisse was 
Patrikes sonne. And from Melisse to the Earle of Stratherne, now present, ther 
seames to be no question of succession. None of thir formar threi are called for in 


soumounds of reduction, and sume of the Lords thinkes that if thay ware produced the 
reduction wald be the more difficill. The Earle thinkes the advocat hes not used him 
weel, that without his knawledge sould have condiscended upon these writes ; and 
upon the uther part, it is thought the advocat hes done it, to mak it appear that the 
service was legally deduced. Quhat middes we will find upon Tuysday nixt 1 to facilitat 
the bussines, I knaw not. It hes bein madnes to have attempted such things ; but 
seing they have bein ons moued, I wische sume such cours may be taken as may secure 
our masters interest, quhatevir it be. Eeduction upon the soumonds lybelled, nather 
yit certificatioune upon not production in the improbatioune, is not thought sufficient, 
except sume way be fund for cancelling and destroying of all writes that may conceme 
this bussines, that can be fund ather in the registers or elsequhair. Anil this I wische 
our master sould not trust altogider to his awne judgement, but that it may be done be 
the advyce of sume of his faithfull servands. We have hade many odde passages in the 
bussines quhilks I dare not intrust to paper. I beleive he intendes not to sture from 
hence schortlie, at least to he sei a full and finall end to this business, quhairin I haue 
not bein wanting to my powar to doe him service, but I fear I serve a thaukles master. 
But howsoevir I sail still be, 

Your Lordship's faithfull servand, 


For the moat honourable the Earle of Morton, Lord High Treasurer of Scotland. 2 

Thus the matter was settled so far as concerned the title and earldom of 
Strathern. But this did not satisfy the enemies of Menteith. Sir John 
Scot, in his " True Eelation," indicates that he did not conceal his disappoint- 
ment from the King when he took his leave ; for the King, chiding him for 
concealing the matter so long, and also for issuing the brieves, he replied 
that he had revealed it soon enough for any amends likely to follow, and the 
other was the duty of his place. 3 The Earl of Menteith, the same author 

1 The reduction was effected by the Court Mouteith, by Sir Harris Nicolas, Appendix, 
of Session on the 2'2d of March. p. lxxxv. 

2 History of the Earldoms of Strathern and J Ibid. p. xlv. 


remarks, " continued still in his grandeur and haill places," and he adds a 
remark which reflects little credit on his own integrity : " And his Majestie 
himself was little better secured be that decreet of reduction, seeing that 
pedigree can be made out to the full by the writts, evidents, and securitys 
lying in other noblemen's chartor-chists, vassalls of the earldome." 1 It 
was not the design of the party Sir John Scot raised against the Earl to stop 
at such a stage with his disgrace, and the charge of making treasonable 
speeches was urged against him. The Earl of Morton had sought, as 
the price of his intercession with King Charles for Menteith, that the latter 
should use his influence to procure for him the Order of the Garter. When he 
saw that his purpose had failed, he grew exasperated, and in company with 
the Earl of Kinnoul, then Chancellor, went to the Queen, and represented to 
her the dangers which might arise to her children if Menteith were allowed 
to go unpunished. Becoming alarmed, she communicated her fears to the 
King, who promised to settle the matter when in Scotland, 2 whither he was 
about to go for his coronation. In the meantime the King wrote to the 
Viscount of Dupplin, Chancellor, the Archbishops of St. Andrews and Glasgow, 
the Earl of Morton, Treasurer, the Earl of Haddington, Lord Privy Seal, the 
Earl of Lauderdale, the Viscount of Ayr, Lord Traquair, Deputy-Treasurer, 
Sir John Hay of Lands, Lord Clerk-Eegister, or any six of them, the 
Chancellor or one of the Archbishops being one, that as Sir James Skene, 
President of the College of Justice, had undertaken to prove that he had 
been told that the Earl of Airth had said that he should have been King of 
Scotland, and that he had better, or as good, a right to the Crown as the 
King himself, they should try whether the same be true or but calumnies, 

1 History of the Earldoms of Strathern and 3 Sir John Scot's True Relation, quoted in 

Jlonteith, by Sir Harris Nicolas, Appendix, History of the Earldoms of Strathern and Mon- 
p. xlix. teith, by Sir Harris Nicolas, .Appendix, p. 1. 


by- citing Sir James Skene, and causing him to name his reporters; and if 
they should deny, to examine any good witnesses which Sir James should 
produce against them, and forward their signed depositions to him. 1 In 
another letter to the same persons, the King informs them that Sir James 
Skene has given up the names of his authors, viz., Lord Eamsay and the 
Constable of Dundee, for the statement that Airth should have been King of 
Scotland, and the Earl of Wigtown and Sir James Maxwell of Calderwood 
for the other alleged statement that he had as good a right to the Crown, or 
better, than the King himself. 2 At the same time, his Majesty directed the 
Chancellor to grant the Earl of Airth the use of advocates for his defence so 
far as lawful. 3 

In the midst of all this painful commotion, the Earl of Menteith demeaned 
himself with unexceptional submissiveness to the will of the King. Though 
conscious of the justice of his claims, and ready to dispute them with 
subjects, whenever the King's desire was known he at once gave way. 
Whether this arose from a deep-seated feeling of reverence for the Sovereign, 
or from a sense of his own impotency to maintain the unequal contest, or 
from fear lest the loss of his head should be the penalty of opposition, it is not 
easy to infer. When the charges of treasonable speeches were also made 
against him, his position was one of the utmost hazard. About this time 
the Earl wrote an information to the King on the charges made against him, 
in which, however, he dwells more on the matter of the earldom of Strathern, 
and takes occasion to mention other troubles in which his house was already 
being involved in consequence of the change in his fortune. He says : — 

My wyfe hes writtin to me that your Majestie said to her that I went too farr on 
in bussines of Stratherne. This greeves me not a litle, seeing zow know that I went 
not one foote nather in the begining, progrcs, nor ending, but be zour advocates advyse 
1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 50. 2 Ibid. p. 51. 3 Ibid. p. 52. 


and directione, and zour Majesties owne allowance ; first, when I shew all my evidents 
befor the prescriptione to him, he advysed and directit me to renunce, which I did. 
Therefter, when I was in England with zour Majestie, the advocate writ to me to 
serve my self heire to Erie David, which I gave way to, and in my absence he did it ; 
then he desyrit me to renunce over againe, which I likwayes did ; and almost three 
zeares efter this was done, Sir James Skeene, Sir Johne Scot, and Sir Archibald 
Achisone brought this service in questione, becaus of their particular splen at me, and 
at the advocate for not seconding their base ends, and did signe ane paper which they 
send wpe to zour Majestie, which is meerly treasonable, and zit is past by, and words 
(which I protest to God I never spoke) are chased throw twentie hands. Efter this 
paper came to zour Majestie, I came wpe to England, and desyrit to know what zow 
wold have done in that bussines of Stratherne, for I desyrit not to keepe that styll 
which was once brought in questione, and Sir Johne Hay (now Gierke of Kegister) 
drew wpe one letter (which zour Majestie signed) to zour advocate, commanding him 
to call to himself wther three of the best advocats in Edinburgh, and all of them to 
advyse togidder, whether it was fitt that the services of David, Erie of Stratherne, 
should be reducit or not, and all of them did signe that it was fitt to reduce them, 
which I gave lykwayes way wnto, and writ wpe to Sir John Hay, who was then at 
Courte, and desyrit him to aske if it was zour Majesties pleasure that the reductione 
should goe on ; he writ bake to me it was, which letter I have. This is my proceeding 
in the bussines of Stratherne ; judge then how I have been wsit, and I trwst that one 
day God will judge betwixt these calumniators and me. I wish zour Majestie knew 
their harts and myn alsweill as zow see their bodies, and then zow wold easilie make 
the difference, and know who war the most loyall subjects. God will doe this in his 
owne tyme, altho' for the present I be made miserable, and the subject of oblequie of 
the heall kingdome, and my creditors hes alreddie served inhibitiones against me, as if 
I war a bankeroupt ; and befor I was zour Majestie's actuall servant, I protest to God 
I may say I never knew what it was to be cravit for money es. 1 

It would seem to have been in reply to this information that the King 

1 Original in Charter-chest of Dnke of Montrose. 
VOL. I. 3 A 


wrote to Airth on 7th May 1633, that he was at liberty to retire to any of 
his own residences in the country until his Majesty came to Scotland, and 
expressed the hope that the things laid to Airth's charge would be found 
to be but calumnies. He added the promise that he would have a care of 
the standing of his house and credit, and would give him that mark of his 
favour which he had promised. 1 On the first of the same month, John, Earl 
of Traquair, received the following holograph letter from King Charles : — 

Traquaik, — Because I imagen that upon this acusation of the Earle of Airthe his 
creditors will prease so upon him that it may turne much to his disgrace, I would haue 
you deale with them to haue patience, at least till he hes cleered himselfe of this impu- 
tation, for ye may asseure them that he prouing himselfe an honnest man (which I 
make no question but he will), that I shall make good all those preceps that I haue 

promised him ; so farwell. The first of May 1633. 

Your frendj 

Charles E. 2 

In view of the inquiry by the Commission, the Earl of Menteith prepared 
a statement of the evidence which ought to be obtained in support of such 
an allegation. In it he says — 

The Lordis would be informed of the quaiitie of the artickles, which ar only 
foundit vpon a report from a thrid persoun wha is not named. . . . The signer of the 
artickles wold be first examined befor the Commissioneris vpon thir poyntes — 1, who 
spak it to him ; 2, when ; 3, wher ; 4, befor quhat witneses ; and last, whither 
ofter nor once. . . . Then the speiker must be examined and vrged iff he will grant 
or deny the speiking thairoff. ... Iff the first speiker to the accuser deny, then the 
accuser must produce his witnesses. . . . Becaus I am suir that never such wordis wer 
spoken be me nor thocht, and that it is a manifest lie, thairfore he must condiscend 
vpon his witnesses, and be examined thairvpon, vtherwyss he must be committed to 
ward til he condiscend sine he accuses me of treasoun and proves nott. 3 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 53. 2 Original at Traquair. 

3 Original in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 


The Commission met on the 20th of May, and obtained the depositions 
contained in the minute, which, with the following letter, was sent to the 
King next day : — 

Halyruid Hous, 21 May 1633. 
Most Sacred Souerane, — Your Maiesteis lettre and eommissioun of the first of 
May last, towcheing that mater of the Earle of Airth, come to our handis vpoun the 
sevint of the said moueth. After the ressett wherof we conuenit, acceptit the eom- 
missioun, and gaif oure oathe bothe for secrecie and the duetifull discharge thairoff 
And being reddie to haif gone on vpoun the examinatioun of the particulars contenit 
in your Maiesteis eommissioun, we wer a litle hinderit by the not homecomeing of Sir 
James Skeene, who wes the speciall pairtie whome that mater concernit, and how soone 
he come heir, we conuenit at the first occasioun, examinat the said Sir James himselrf, 
and three of his authouris gevin vp be him, the fourte, vpoun occasioun of his seeknes, 
being excuised ; and his and thair depositions we haif with this bearair, one of our 
nomber, and who wes present with ws in our whole procedingis in this eommissioun. 
send vnto your Maiestie. And towcheing these who ar gevin vp be the said Sir James 
his authouris to be thair informaris, we haif appointit the 25 of this instant for thair 
examinatioun, and haif writtin to thame to be heir for that effect ; and vpoun thair 
examinatioun we sail acquent your Maiestie what forder salbe found heirin. In the 
meantyme, remitting the relatioun of all the particularis occurring in this bussynes to 
the sutficiencie of this bearair, vnto whome we will humelie intreate your Maiestie to 
gif credite, we pray the Almightie God long to preserue your Maiestie in healthe and 
happynes, and we rest, 

Your Maiesteis most humble and obedient subiectis and seruitouris, 

Duplin. Latjderdaill. 

Morton. W. Aire. 

Glasgow. J. Hay. 


To the King his most sacred and excellent Maiestie. 1 
1 Original at Traquair. 


The minute containing the depositions is as follows : — ■ 

At Halyruidhous, the 20 of May 1633. 1 

In presence of G-eorge Viscount of Dupline, Lord Heigh Chancellair, Williarne 
Earle of Mortoun, Lord Thesaurair, Johnne Archebishop of St. Androis, Patrik 
Archebishop of Glasgw, Thomas Earle of Hadintoun, Lord Preuie Seall, Johnne Earle 
of Lauderdaill, Williauie Viscount of Air, Johnne Lord Steuart of Tracquair, and Sir 
Johnne Hay, knight, Clerk of Register. 

Sir James Skene of Currihill, knight, President of the Sessioun, compeirand 
personalie befoir the Lordis Commissionaris aboue writtin, and being demandit who 
wer his informaris and reportaris vnto him of the speecheis gevin in be him vnder his 
hand to the Kingis Majestie, beareing that the Earle of Airth had said that he sould 
haif bene king him self, and that he had better or als goode right to the Crowne as 
his Maiestie had, deponis that the first speecheis, to witt, that the Earle of Airth said 
that he sould be king him self, that the Lord Ramsay and the Constable of Dundee 
wer his informaris ; and for the secund speecheis, to witt, that the said Earle said that 
he had better or als goode right to the Crowne as his Maiestie had, that the Earle 
of Wigtoun and the Laird of Calderuode wer his informaris. 

Thairafter being demandit be the Lord Chanceller yf he had ony farder to informe 
or prove concerning ony point of his Maiesties commissioun send doun anent this mater, 
answers that first he desyrid that the tua pointis aboue writtin, and the foure personis 
his informaris, sould be examined and tryed, and then he wald advyse yf he wald say 
ony forder. Sic subscribitur : Sir J. Skene. 

Williarne, Lord Ramsay, examined in presence of Sir James Skene, and demandit yf 
he said to Sir James that he hard be report that the Earle of Airth had said that he 
sould haif bene king, deponis that he rememberis that he said to Sir James Skene that 
he had hard that the Earle of Airth being in discours anent the noblemen of Scotland, 
he said that no subiect could compair with him, and that he sould haif beene king. 

And being demandit who were his authours, and who spak thir wordis vnto him, 
deponis that the Laird of Balnamoone wes his authour, who said that outher he hard 
1 Contemporary certified Copy at Traquair. 


thame him self, or that his brother the Lord Carnegie had hard thame of the Earle of 
Airth. Sic subscribitur : Kamsav . 

Johnne, Earle of Wigtoune, examined and demandit in presence of Sir James Skene, 
knight, yf he said to Sir James that he hard that the Earle of Airth had said that he 
had better or als goode right to the Crowne as his Maiestie had, deponis that he cannot 
perfytlie remember of the wordis, bot sayis that he outher spak these wordis or some 
wordis to that sense. 

And being demandit who wer his authouris and spak thir wordis vnto him, deponis 
that the Lord Carnegie wes his authour and spak thir wordis vnto him, and in end 
haueing takin the afternoone to aduyse yf he wald gif vp ony ma authouris, he in the 
afternoone gaif vp his awne sone, the Lord Fleming, to be ane informair. 

Sic subscribitur : Wigtoun. 

Johnne, Lord Fleming, examined, deponis that he haueing occasioun to go with the 
Lord Montgomerie to visite the Lady Marquesse of Hamiltoun, he, the said Lord 
Fleming, in the Lord Montgomeryis presence and heiring, hard the Lady say that the 
Earle of Airth said to hir that he had als goode right to the Crowne as the King had, 
and that she answerit these wer foolishe speecheis, wherunto the Earle replyed, I haif 
said als mutche to the King him selff. Sic subscribitur : Fleming. 

Sir James Maxwell of Calderuode, examined, and demandit in presence of Sir 
James Skene, knight, yf he said to Sir James that he had hard that the Earle of Airth 
said that he had better or als goode right to the Crowne as his Maiestie had, deponis 
that he can not preceislie remember of the wordis, bot sayis that the wordis that he 
spak to the said Sir James Skene wer to that sense and to that conclusioun, that the 
Earle had right to the kingdom of Scotland. And being demandit who wer his 
authours and spak this vnto him, deponis that the Ladie Marquesse of Hamiltoun 
spak it vnto him. Sic subscribitur : J. Calderuode. 

Tenet cum principali, 

J. Peymeois. 

When King Charles received the depositions, he was preparing for his 
journey to Scotland for his coronation, and on 15th June 1633 he arrived at 


Holyrood. He then appointed the 24th of that month for the trial of the 
Earl, and on the 23d wrote to four advocates, Thomas Nicolson, Eoger Mouet, 
Gilbert Nilson, and David Prymrose, directing them to inform themselves for 
the defence of the Earl, and appear in his interest on the morrow. 1 

Whether this trial took place on the 24th has not been ascertained, but 
another diet was held on 10th July following, which the Earl was unable to 
attend by reason of sickness. All attempts to make the Earl plead guilty of 
uttering treasonable speech proved unavailing, as he continued in a firm 
denial. On 10th July he wrote to the commissioners that he would never 
acknowledge the words in Sir James Skene's paper, for he never spoke them. 
As to equivalent words, or words which might be drawn to the sense of those 
alleged, he desired to hear them, for if he had made such a slip, he solemnly 
protested that he would ingenuously acknowledge it. But having examined 
himself from infancy, so far as a man's memory could instruct him, he did 
not remember that any such words had escaped him. Yet, he proceeds, seeing 
his Majesty has, by examination of those of good quality (whose names I do 
not know), collected as much by circumstances as that some words tending to 
that sense, either when I was a child, or (as they may call it) being either 
drunk or mad, has slipped from me, I will rather submit myself absolutely 
to my master's good will and pleasure, to underlie what it shall please him to 
impose upon me, than be tried by any judicatory, with this addition, that (as 
I have a soul and wish it to be saved) I had never a disloyal thought to my 
master, so that if any words alleged to be spoken in my infancy, or as I have 
said before, are now by the malice of some wrested to that sense, I am 
confident his Majesty and your Lordships will rather think it error and 
lapsus linguae than mentis. This is all I can say, and withal, do humbly 
submit myself to his Majesty's will and pleasure, who, I doubt not, when he 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 53. 


shall compare my actions and integrity with these words which he has heard 
now, will have respect both to myself and to that house of mine which is 
now of above two hundred years' standing, without any touch of disloyalty. 1 

It would appear that the Commissioners communicated the Earl's 
inclination to submit to the King, as, on the 14th July, his Majesty wrote 
to Traquair, that if he found the Earl of Airth come to such a confession 
as would be satisfactory to the King, he was to " assure him of his lyf and 
forfaitour." 2 Upon the strength of this assurance, Traquair, on the following 
day, obtained a written submission from the Earl of Airth. The submission 
first offered by Airth was as follows : — 

Notwithstanding that I haue examined my self, even from my very infancy, and 
that I protest to God I can not remember that ever I spoke thes words in Sir James 
Skeens paper, or any words to that sence, zit, seing persons of qualitie lies affirmed so 
much to his Majestie as, in the strictues of law, micht be a probatione, I doo absolutly 
submit my self to his Majestie, to be disposed at his pleasour. 

And concerning the services of Strathern, altho' I protest to God I did not 
proceide ane iote in them, bot be the advyse and directione of sum qulia hes speciall 
trust from his Majestie in maters of law, and quhows iudgment is a greate deall 
better nor myne in busines of that kynd, quhich I am habill to verifie, zit, seing it 
is conceaved as a thing wnfitting to have beene doone, I doo lykways in that submit 
my self to my gratious master, to be disposed wpon at his pleasour. 3 

This was evidently considered too strong language by Traquair, who 
prevailed upon the Earl to alter it to the following : — 

Sie, — Hauing examined my self from my infancie, I cannot, wpon my soule, 
remember that ever I spok those words as ar conteined in Sir James Skeene his paper, 
zit finding by the depositiones of persones of qualitie to zour Majestie that sum such 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 153. 3 Original, holograph of the Earl of Airth, 

2 Ibid. p. 54. at Gartmore. 


words may have escaped me as in law may bring my lyf and fortune in zour Majesties 
reverence, I will not stand out, bot as guiltie, in all humilitie submitt my self at zour 
Majesties feett. At Hallir[uid Hous], the 15 Julij 1633. 

A[irthe]. x 

Altho' in the service of Stratherne I did nothing bot be the advyse and speciall 
directione of thes quha wuderstands better maters of law then I cloo, as I shall by vrett 
verifie, zit now, finding it a busines altogither wnfitting to have beene doone, I will no 
more justifie the same, bot in all humilitie acknowledge my error that wpon any infor- 
mation quhatsumever should have doone that quhich may, so iustly, offend his Majestie 
against me, and therfore I doo humblie submite myself to his Majesties gracious 
pleasour. At Hallir[uid Hous], the 15 of Julij 1633. 


Altho at the first I did not conceave ther hade bein any thing in my service of 
Stratherne but that quhilk hade bein fair and right, zit, efter better consideratione, 
finding it, both in mater and forme, altogider against your Majestei, I will no more 
justifie the same, but in all humilitie acknawledge my error. 

And altho' be this submission I cum schort in doing that quhilk my fait deserves, 
zit lat me humblie intreat your Majestie to apardone me to mak my self as litle guiltie 
in a busines of this nature as may be, putting the rest upon your Majesteis clemency. 2 

On receiving this submission, Traquair wrote a letter to the Earl of Airth, 
promising either to procure his Majesty's pardon or to inform Airth again of 
the result if otherwise. 3 Traquair also wrote with the submission to the 
King, adding that the Earl had retired to the country, not to stir from his 
own house till his Majesty's pleasure were known, and asking the King to 
consider the doom or sentence his Majesty was to pronounce against him, 

1 The letters within brackets in these two graphs signed by Airth are holograph of that 
signatures are torn out of the original. Earl ; the other two are holograph of Traquair. 

2 Original at Traquair. The two para- 3 Vol. ii. of this work,, p. 153. 


so that it might be made in form of law. 1 " He is to be foirfait and 
adictit to perpetuall prisone," wrote William Maxwell, an Edinburgh advocate 
trained under Sir Thomas Hope, to his cousin Sir John Maxwell of Pollok, 
and added, " He standis to his defence and denyall both of the wordis and 
of the equivalency thereof, and alledges nothing provene. But the contrare 
is credibly repoirtit." 2 

King Charles does not appear to have been in haste to pronounce his 
decision. The Earl of Traquair wrote to the Earl of Morton that the King's 
pleasure as to the Earl of Airth was to be declared on the first Council day 
in November. 3 This was the 8th, and on that day George, Earl of Kinnoul, 
Lord Chancellor, produced before the Council a letter from the King intimat- 
ing the sentence against Airth. That Earl being present, acquiesced in the 
sentence, and granted the following demission of his offices and surrender of 
other rights demanded by the King : — 

Be it kend till all men be thir present lettres, me, William, Erie of Airth e, forsa- 
meekle as it hes pleased his sacred Majestie, by his hienes letter direct to my Lord 
Chanceller, of the dait the nynt of October last, to declare that whereas his Majestie, 
vpon the commissioun for tryell of some treasonable speeches spokin by me, hes found 
sufficient proofes to beleeve the same, and that I have by my owne acknowledgement 
confessed als muche in effect, togidder with the great fault committed by me in my 
service to the earledome of Stratherne. In regarde whairof his Majestie, by his letter, 
hes found that I am not worthie to injoy the charges which. I have formerlie borne in 
the estate, nor yitt the pensioun allowed to be payed to me furth of the Exchecker, 
and hes commanded the said Lord Chanceller to require me to surrender vp into his 
Majesteis hands my charges and places of presidentship in Counsell, Justice-Generall, 
and place in Sessioun, to be disposed of as his sacred Majestie sail be pleased to appoint, 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 154. and Monteith, Appendix, p. Ixxxviii. The 

2 The Maxwells of Pollok, by William letter is dated 23d November, but this is an 
Fraser, vol. i. p. 440. evident mistake, as that would have been 

3 History of the Earldoms of Strathern a fortnight after the meeting had taken place. 

VOL. I. 3 B 


togidder with the gift of my pensioun, formerlie grantit vnto me by his Majestie. 
Thairfoir, and for obedience of his Majesteis sacred will and ordinance, witt zee me to 
have resigned and surrendered, lykeas I now, compeirand in presence of his Majesteis 
Secreit Counsell and Exchecker, resigne and surrender into thair hands, as in the hands 
of his sacred Majestie, the places, offices, and charges of President in Counsell, Justice- 
Generall, and place in Sessioun, togidder with my pensioun of fyve hundreth punds 
sterline, grantit vnto me be his sacred Majestie, with all gifts, lettres, patents, and 
others warrands whatsomever grantit to me be his Majestie for injoying of the saids 
places, and for bruiking of the said pensioun, with all honnoures, digniteis, fees, 
priviledges, and others immuniteis whatsomever, dew to me be vertew of the saids gifts, 
or anie of thame, in all tyme comming, to the effect his Majestie may dispose therevpon 
at his pleasure ; and for the mair securitie I am content, and consents that thir presents 
be insert and registrat in the Bookes of Secreit Counsell, Sessioun, and Exchecker, 
ad futuram rei memoriam. And for that effect makes and constituts, etc., my 
procurators, to compeir and consent to the registrating of the premiss, in maner foresaid. 
In witnes whairof, I have subscryved thir presents with my hand, at Edinburgh, the 
aucht day of November, the zeere of God i m vj c threttie three zeeres. 

Sic subscribitur : Airthe. 1 

The Earl of Airth was also ordered by the King to be confined to his 
own house, and bounds belonging thereto, which were not near the Palace 
of Holyrood, where the public meetings of the Estates were kept, to which 
the Earl likewise promised a dutiful obedience. 

The execution of this command did not yet afford a sufficient security for 

King Charles against the possible resumption of the claim to Strathern, and 

a letter written by Traquair to the King, intimating that his sentence against 

Airth had been carried into effect, informs us also of his desire for further 

measures being taken to annihilate all possibility of pretension to the earldom 

of Strathern again. 2 Traquair says : — 

1 Extract Act of Privy Council (including 2 Mr. Rirldell remarks that King Charles's 

this Renunciation) at Traquair. anxiety to efface all vestige of the services 


Sik, — The Erie of Airthe hes compeired before the Counsell, and, according to your 
Majestie's pleasure signified to me, and be zour letter to the Lord Chancellour, hes 
dimitted his offices and pension. The Chancellour conveined Sir Thomas Hope, zour 
Majestie's advocat, togidder with Sir Lues [Steuart] advocat, Mr. Andro Aytoun, and 
Mr. Thomas Nicolsone, pryme advocatis in this kingdome, and to them all togidder hes 
signified zour Majestie's pleasure anent the service of Stratherne for reduceing and 
annihilating the same, and finding out some such course as all ground for the lyke 
errour may be taken away ; which busines they have taken to their serious considera- 
tioun, and with me have had some meitingis concerneing the same : Bot becaus of the 
Lord Chancellour his present indispositioun of health, we can mak no conclusion therin. 1 

The Earl of Airth's humiliation was now complete, and he retired to his 
residence at Airth, where he was forthwith beset by creditors and others, and 
soon reduced to great distress. He had already intimated to the Kiiig the 
difficulties in which he was beginning to be placed through his expenses in 
his Majesty's service, and their non-repayment ; and King Charles, though 
content for the security of his own succession to crush the Earl of Menteith, 
seems yet to have been unwilling to forget the labours of a faithful servant, 
now reduced to the brink of ruin. Commiserating his condition, the King, 
after some conference with the Earl of Traquair, promised help, a favour 
which Airth, in writing to the King on 3d April 1634, thankfully acknow- 
ledged. In that letter to Charles he frankly told him his condition, — that he 
had made a contract with those of his friends who were cautioners for some 
of his debts, in which he had pledged all his lands for their security, intending 
that they should only relieve themselves thereby ; but they had obtained 

to Strathern "after unjustifiably and ille- them " deleit and raised out of the registeris." 

gaily reducing them, is peculiarly striking." In an autograph postscript the King adds, 

He also refers to a letter from the King to " This I most have priucipallie performed." — 

Sir Thomas Hope, urging " the cancelling [Tracts Legal and Historical, p. 205.] 

of the writtis and warrandis," and to see 1 Contemporary Copy at Traquair. 


a decree before the Lords of Session of all his lands, and were taking 
possession, although the lands were more than three times the value of his 
debts. He was to be denuded of them at Whitsunday next, but had the 
right of reversion at the Martinmas term following if he paid all by that 
time ; if not, the lands were gone entirely from him. For the payment of 
other debts he had already sold one barony and mortgaged another. He 
then besought the King either to satisfy his cautioners before the terms he 
had named, or suffer him to leave Scotland, and betake himself to some place 
where he might live and die unknown, and not see the ruin of his house. 1 

Shortly after the report of the Earl's distress reached him, the King 
wrote to Archbishop Spottiswood that he had instructed his officers to pay 
with all possible diligence the sums he had formerly granted to the Earl, so 
that his estate might be recovered, and his creditors and cautioners satisfied ; 
but as the money could not all be paid at once, the Archbishop was directed 
to arrange in some fair way for the payment of his creditors over the space 
of two years or more, providing that the arrangement inferred no present 
possession of any part of his estate, and the Earl was to pay them a termly 
interest, or forfeit the benefit of this forbearance. 2 In the letters to his 
officers, Charles declared his intention of giving for the relief of the Earl's 
urgent debts 132,000 merks Scots, and during the non-payment of that sum, 
£500 sterling yearly. He also proposed to buy the Earl of Airth's house 
near Holyrood for 18,000 merks, and to give 30,000 merks for the resignation 
of the Countess of Airth's pension of £500. 3 

But the King's instructions seem to have been of little avail, for if they 

were ever intended to be executed, they were greatly disregarded. In a 

letter which the Earl wrote to Charles, he thanks the King for what he had 

commanded to be done, and says that if they had really been performed by 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 155. 2 Ibid. p. 55. 3 Ibid. p. 56. 


those to whom his Majesty intrusted them, they would have effected the 
purpose intended. But not a penny had been paid of the sum named in 
the warrant, nor of the consideration which was to be given during its 
non-payment, and which might have contented his creditors; nothing had 
been paid for his house near Holyrood, nor for his wife's pension, for 
which he says he had already paid 42,000 merks Scots. He assigns as a 
reason for this, that he whom his Majesty thought his greatest friend had 
ever been his greatest enemy, 1 yet because his Majesty employed him, he 
trusted him, and they had both been deceived. The amount his Majesty 
had promised, though far short of the sums for which he held warrants 
under his seals, and also short of his debts, would yet, if presently paid, save 
his house ; but, he says, the process in law is going on against me, and in 
less than a fortnight I will be dispossessed of my whole estate. 2 

Two of the Earl's creditors were the Earl of Loudoun and Lord Forrester, 
who probably for their own sakes were anxious that the King's grants should 
be paid. The Earl of Loudoun wrote the following letter to the Earl : — 

Edinburgh, the 25 December 1634. 

My noble Lord, — The Earle of Traquair affirmes his Lordship is willing to caus 
pey two and twentie thowsand raerkis to the Lord Forrester and me in your Lordship's 
name to morrow morneing, quhairof ther is threttein thowsand fyve hundreth fowr 
scoir three merkis dew to me for byrwn annuellrenttis, conforme to the compt maid 
befoir my Lord Innerpeffer and Cranistoun ; and vpon my resaitt thairof the morne 
befoir nyne houris, I shall gif your Lordship ane discharge, and shall remain, 
Your Lordship's loveing cusine to serve yow, 


To my verai noble gude Lord, my Lord Earle of Airth, from the Lorde Loudoun. 3 

1 The reference is to John, Earl of Traquair. 

2 Notes on Inehmahome, by the Rev. W. MaeGregor Stirling, p. 150. 

3 Original in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 


As the Earl of Airth in his prosperity and power had favoured the Lord 
Advocate Hope, it is gratifying to find that in his distress the latter was not 
unmindful of the benefits which he had received. In a letter to the Earl 
on 19th January 1635, he says, — "We have had a meeting with the Earl 
of Traquair, in presence of your Lordship's tenderest friends of both sexes, 
the Countess Marischal and the Earl of Eoxburgh;" and after inform- 
ing the Earl of their satisfaction therewith, advises him to come per- 
sonally to Edinburgh in the following week. 1 At a later period he 
endeavoured in the Earl's absence to obtain a satisfactory settlement of 
his affairs. 2 

Notwithstanding the treatment he received, the Earl continued well- 
affected to King Charles the First, and on 28th December 1636, received a 
letter of thanks from him for the capture within his jurisdiction by his 
eldest son, John, Lord Kilpont, of a notorious thief, John Dow Eoy 
Macgregor, the eldest brother of Gilderoy, in effecting which a near relation 
of the Earl's was slain. The King assured him that to seek opportunities 
thus of doing him service was the best way to regain his favour. 3 The 
prisoner had been taken to Edinburgh for trial, and as that might have 
proved prejudicial to the Earl's exercise of his justiciary powers in Menteith, 
a supplication was presented by Lord Kilpont to the Privy Council, who 
passed an Act on 15th December 1636, declaring that the " takeing and 
exhibition of the said John Dow to his tryell and punishment heir before 
his Majesties Justice, sail not be prejudiciall to the said Earle of Airthe 
his right, if he anie hes, of judgeing malefactors apprehendit within his 
boimds, as accords of the law. And the saids Lords ordains the supplicant to 
produce before thame the said Earle of Airthe his infeftment of justiciarie, 
before the day appoynted for the tryell of the said John Dow, to the effect 

1 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 147. 2 Ibid, p, 148. 3 Ibid. p. 58. 


the saids Lords may consider therof, and give suche answer to the desire of 
the supplicant anent the judgeing and sitting vpon the said John Dow as 
they sail find caus." 1 

On 14th December 1637, the Privy Council, at the King's command, 
passed an Act for the enlargement of the Earl from the confinement to the 
bounds of his own earldom, to which he had been condemned four years 
previously. 2 He was soon after in increasing estimation at Court, and a 
London friend, who signs himself " Jo. Wishart," wrote, on 17th March 1638, 
congratulating the Earl on his restoration to favour. " My Lord," he remarks, 
" in my opinione yor resurrectione frome the grave, wherein yow lately lay, 
to the feild wherein yow now stand, was a harder taske then being rissen 
to remount to the highest spheare that ever yow moved in." 3 The Earl was 
probably assisted in his recovery of Charles's favour by his refusal, in contrast 
to most of the other Scottish nobles, to take the Covenants, or have anything 
to do with the Covenanting party, for which both he and Lord Kilpont were 
thanked by the King, who promised in a letter to the Earl, dated 19th 
March 1639, that he would not forget him when occasion offered. 4 In the 
same year the King re-appointed the Earl a member of the Privy Council, 
and he was re-admitted on 8th August. 5 With Ms own hand, also, the King 
wrote, requesting him to attend his Commissioner as one of the Council at 
the Assembly and Parliament to be held during 1639. 6 Airth attended both 
conventions. At the latter he protested for his proper precedency, was one 
of a committee for the consideration of some supplications for redress of 
disorders in the North, and was to be consulted respecting the disjunction of 

1 Extract Act of Council in Charter-chest 4 Vol. ii. of this work, p 59. 

of Duke of Montrose. *,->.. 

„„..,_, 6 Original Letter and Extract in Charter- 

* Original Extract, ibid. , ■ , 

, „ , , , _ _ chest of Duke of Montrose. 

6 JNotes on Inchmahome, by the Rev. W. 

MacGregor Stirling, p. 141. 6 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 61. 


seven parishes from Stirlingshire and their addition to Dumbartonshire. 1 
At the close of the meetings he wrote to his Majesty a short account of the 
Assembly, and asking direction in two particulars: — 1st, What he should do 
in the matter of the Covenant, seeing the Commissioner and most part of the 
Council had signed it ? and 2d, Whether he should give his opinion in the 
Council on any matter conducive to his Majesty's interest when he was not 
asked, or remain silent ? The King replied that he esteemed those more who 
did not than those who took the Covenant ; and as to the other, he thought 
if his opinion were asked by the Commissioner, he would do well to give it, 
but if not, it would be expedient not to offer it. 2 In addition to other private 
matters, King Charles, in the same year, intrusted the Earl of Airth with 
negotiating the purchase from the Earl of Mar of certain heritable offices 
held by him. 3 About this time also the Earl and his son, John, Lord 
Kilpont, were made lieutenants of Stirlingshire by King Charles, to raise 
men against the Covenanting party. 4 The Earl and Lord Kilpont both 
remained strong partisans of King Charles, although they seem not to have 
provoked the prevailing party needlessly. In 1644, Airth wrote to the Earl 
of Loudoun, then Chancellor, to know the truth of a report that he was to 
be denounced for not subscribing the Covenant, to which the Chancellor 
replied : — 

Edinburgh, 13 of Aprile 1644. 
My noble Lord, — I receaved youris, bot was so takin vp with important bussines, 
that I had no tyme to returne your Lordship ane anser till now. It is more then I 
know if your Lordship be denuneeit for not subscryveing the Covenant. Bot if your 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 3 Vol. ii. of this work, p. 60. 

vol. v. pp. 254, 599, 607. 4 Original in Charter-chest of Duke of 

2 Vol. ii. of this work, pp. 156-158. Montrose. 


Lordship have done, or be willing to doe it, it will tak away any danger of that 
kind. . . . 

Your Lordship's most affectionat cowsigne and servand, 

Loudoun. 1 

In the same year John, Lord Kilpont, was assassinated in the camp of 
the Marquis of Montrose at Collace, by one of his own retainers, James 
Stewart of Ardvoirlich. The circumstances of that unhappy slaughter will 
be found fully detailed in the memoir of Lord Kilpont, which immediately 
follows this memoir of his father. 

The debts due by King Charles to the Earl still remained unpaid. In a 
letter to James Livingstone of Beill, one of his Majesty's Bedchamber, sent 
with the messenger who conveyed the letter to the King, he acknowledges a 
debt as due to him, and promises him payment at once ; " for altho," says he, 
" his Majestie be owing me far greater soumes, yet I shall never, for such ane 
triffle as is owing me, have such ane base thocht as to seeke allowance of such 
ane soume ; therefore expect it, and lett not this berar nor any living know 
that there is anything of this kynde betuix yow and me." The Earl had 
tried many ways to get some settlement, but all was in vain. In a letter 
to John, Earl of Traquair, Sir Lewis Stewart of Kirkhill wrote on 13th 
April 1637 : — 

My Lord, — Upon Satterday last my Lord Airthe, pretending to seik his saising 
off Kilpunt, earn to my chamber, quhar he fell out in ane long and greitt complaint 
for want of his moneyis, the payment quheroff he hes attendit this 3 yeiris, so that he 
hes not been at horn fyve monthis off the 36 to attend his affairis at all thir tyrnes.' 2 

One of these debts was acknowledged by his Majesty in a letter to the 

Lords of the Treasury on 12th November 1641, in order to pay which 

he granted to the Earl of Airth a lease of the free rents of the lordships of 

1 Original in Charter-chest of Duke of Montrose. 2 Original Letter at Traquair. 

VOL. I. 3 C 


Fife and Menteith, amounting in value to about £700 yearly, for five years, 
and for as many years thereafter as was necessary for the full payment of the 
amount, it being provided that the lease should, ipso facto, expire as soon as 
the sum was paid up. The Lords of the Treasury were instructed by special 
warrant to give effect to this lease at once, even though contrary instructions 
should have been previously given, or any Act of Parliament or Exchequer 
stood in the way. 1 This, however, was not done. In 1642 the King 
again wrote requiring the L